The water innovation network (WIN) is a group of farmers from the Ballinderry catchment, supported by experts in agriculture, water quality and innovation.
The mission is defined:
“We are seeking WIN WIN solutions – innovative ways to make farms more productive, profitable or efficient that also protect and improve water quality.”
What's the problem?
Water poses a constant management problem for farmers in Northern Ireland (NI). On average around 1000mm of rain falls on every square meter of NI each year. If not adequately diverted and/or collected, this water makes its way across farms picking up nutrients, chemicals and soil.
Valuable nutrients and minerals are then lost to the farm which may be relying on increasingly expensive fertiliser to replace them.
Where the nutrient rich water reaches the river it can damage the river ecosystem. Problems can come from cracks in silage pits and farmyard concrete allowing effluent to run away, there is also a danger of slurry spills from above ground stores or lagoons.
There are a lot of ideas and technologies on how water pollution from farms could be reduced or prevented, but many are too costly; require long-term maintenance; inhibit productivity or take up land on the farm.
This project aims to identify and trial solutions to these barriers by developing innovative and integrated win-win solutions for rivers and farm businesses, using digital technology and nature-based, productive, solutions that protect the water environment whilst maintaining and improving productivity and profitability of the farm business
Over the last 18 months we’ve been putting our heads together (farmers, Rivers Trust, advisors) to come up with ideas that will work in a practical, and even profitable way on most farms.
Low cost systems to capture and slowly filter farmyard water.
Using plants to capture nutrients
Recycling nutrients into a source of free
This project is a European Innovation Partnership (EIP) project and is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and DAERA.
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