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35 million euros EU-funding for improving water quality

Water basins in Ireland and Northern Ireland will benefit from the cross-border cooperation

  • July 01, 2019 11:30
  • Author Aseniya Dimitrova
Medium carlingford 410630 1280

The start of a new cross-border project aiming to improve the quality of water in Carlingford Lough (Ireland) and Lough Foyle (Northern Ireland) was launched last week. The EU-funded initiative will receive 35 million euros for improved treatment of the wastewater.

The launch of SWELL (which stands for Shared Waters Enhancement & Loughs Legacy) took place on 25th June 2019 in Derry. The project was approved for funding by the European Union under INTERREG VA Programme and addresses the problem with wastewater pollution on both sides of the border. Operated by Northern Ireland Water as Lead partner, it will last for four years and is implemented in cooperation with Irish Water, the Agri-Food Biosciences Institute (AFBI), Loughs Agency and East Border Region.

Among its objectives: to develop a “unique environmental legacy model that can be used to achieve further improvements in water quality”. Led by Northern Ireland Water working in partnership with Irish Water, the Agri-Food Biosciences Institute (AFBI), Loughs Agency and East Border Region the SWELL is expected to affect 10,000 persons who will benefit from improved wastewater treatment.

Thus, among the activities of the project are eight wastewater infrastructure upgrades, studies of catchment and ecosystem modelling, which shall ultimately contribute to raising the status to “good” in accordance with the Framework Directive.

Financial contribution to the project has been provided by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government in Ireland and the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs in Northern Ireland. On the occasion of the launch, Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government in Ireland Eoghan Murphy stated that safe and reliable water and wastewater infrastructure were a pre-condition for the social and economic development, hence the project is expected to have an important role for the area.

Gina McIntyre, CEO of the SEUPB responsible for the management of the EU’s INTERREG VA Programme, also emphasized on the cross-border cooperation for the protection of the environment and on the importance of the long-term investment by the EU.

Find more on the topic from Donegal County Council.

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