Source to Tap is inviting all farmers, landowners and contractors in the River Derg area to attend a free agricultural contractor fair and information roadshow being held on Thursday, April 28, from 11am to 4pm at Aghyaran Saint Davog’s GAA Club, near Killeter, Castlederg.

This free, informative, event is being organised to allow landowners to meet local agricultural contractors and to offer advice on water-friendly agricultural services such as weed-wiping for rush control and livestock exclusion fencing to prevent riverbank erosion. The event will also share some of the important learnings from the Source to Tap project, that could benefit landowners and farm businesses.

The Source to Tap team will also update attendees on work undertaken on the Land Incentive Scheme in the River Derg catchment.

Supported by the European Union’s INTERREG VA Programme, Source to Tap is an innovative partnership project that has been working since 2017 to improve the health of waterways in the cross-border catchments of the Erne and Derg rivers.

Through the development of sustainable, catchment-scale solutions, Source to Tap has been working with local communities to develop effective ways to protect rivers and lakes. Source to Tap has also trialled various land management measures in forestry, peatland and agriculture and the outreach programme has been informing the public about their critical role in protecting our waterways.

The agricultural sector has been key to the success of many of the Source to Tap projects and as the program concludes in Summer 2022, this upcoming event on April 28 will help inform future best practices for protecting local watercourses

Everyone is welcome to come along and find out more about protecting the water environment and how such measures can help reduce financial outgoings on the farm.

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NI Water is celebrating a decade of one of the largest corporate volunteering schemes in the Province.

Over 1,500 staff have volunteered in 100 challenges to date, equating to more than 10,000 hours of volunteering to help support communities across Northern Ireland.

As part of NI Water’s ‘Cares Challenge’ programme, activities are planned and set up in partnership with Business in the Community’s NI Cares Programme.  The programme identifies organisations and charities within the local community who need a helping hand with physical tasks.

This has allowed NI Water staff to help a wide range of charities over the past 10 years including, Southern Area Hospice, The National Trust, Welcome Organisation, Crosskennan Lane Animal Sanctuary and Foyle Hospice.

In the latest Cares Challenge the NI Water team got to work in the grounds of the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice.

The team of 15 volunteer gardeners including Chief Executive, Sara Venning, worked together to plant new flowers, clear weeds, trim plants, and paint planters and fences.  All working together to make the garden at Children’s Hospice a perfect place of solace for patients and their families to enjoy and relax in.

Sara Venning, Chief Executive of NI Water, explained: “For more than a decade our dedicated staff have worked alongside charities, schools and community groups to help provide that extra support. 

“These teams of handy helpers have undertaken everything from gardening, painting and maintenance to environmental and fundraising days.  It is often the extra support that these groups require to enhance their facilities, improve the lives of their members and operate their centres successfully.

“Volunteering has also proved to be a key part of our health and wellbeing toolkit.  Our teams gain so much from the experience, not only by helping the community, but also having the chance to spend time with colleagues from around the business that they might not otherwise have a chance to meet.”

Mary McCall, Director of Commercial Brand Development at the Northern Ireland Hospice said: “We were delighted that Northern Ireland Water chose to come here to Children’s Hospice and volunteer in our gardens for the day. The corporate volunteering programme at the Children’s Hospice is a win-win situation for all involved. It allows our business partners to fulfil their corporate social responsibility objectives and our patients get the benefit of their expertise and hard work in the garden.”

Kieran Harding, Managing Director of Business in the Community added: NI Water has shown tremendous commitment to the local community through its decade-long involvement with the Cares Challenge. Employer-supported volunteering enables employees to engage with local communities, charities and community groups, to develop an understanding of their needs, and to pro-actively support the work they do. When employers offer opportunities for staff to volunteer it supports better wellbeing, develops skills, and improves employee engagement – creating a happier, healthier workforce.

“I’m delighted that, via the Cares programme, Business in the Community has been able to support NI Water to help local communities to thrive over the past decade.”

NI Water celebrates a decade of Cares Challenge, one of the largest corporate volunteering schemes in the Province.  In the latest challenge the team of 15 volunteers, including Chief Executive, Sara Venning, worked to make the garden at the NI Children’s Hospice a perfect place of solace for patients and their families.


NI Water projects have secured first and second place in this year’s Institute of Water (IoW) NI Innovation Awards – the first time in the competition’s 10-year history that the top two prizes have gone to the same company!

The accolades were bestowed to the Derg Pilot Plant and Rathlin Island Water Treatment projects in recognition of their unique and innovative nature.

The Derg Pilot Project – which pipped the Rathlin Project to the post to lift first prize and go forward to the IoW’s National Innovation Awards – is an innovative mobile testing facility developed by NI Water’s Trevor Cousins built in partnership with local companies Lowry Building & Civil Engineering, Clinty Chemicals and RPS.

The Pilot Plant has been specially designed to allow it to be set up at any NI Water site to replicate the water or wastewater treatment process. It works offline, without affecting the water treatment process and allows the rigorous testing of the treatment process. Through real-time data collection and analysis, this pilot will allow NI Water staff to measure how effective each treatment process is before considering it as a permanent solution.

This forward-thinking approach means that the most effective and efficient treatment solutions can be determined and incorporated into future NI Water capital works programmes.

The Pilot Plant was initially established at Derg Water Treatment Works (WTW) in September 2020 to investigate potential treatment processes to address compliance issues around the herbicide MCPA and other chemicals used in the water treatment process.

The ability to reuse this innovative Pilot Plant at various treatment works, to improve the water treatment process is one of its greatest benefits. The whole plant can be relocated to other water treatment sites, with only set up costs incurred at each site.

Dymphna Gallagher, Head of Drinking Water Regulation for NI Water, said: “The innovative approach members of the water quality team – Trevor Cousins and Roisin McDade have taken at Rathlin and Derg Water Treatment sites has started something really exciting for NI Water. We have the capability to test new treatment streams in situ and more importantly this work has shown that innovation can be the mechanism for overall social, economic and environmental benefits for our communities by protecting and enhancing the water supply.”

As well as the benefits of the innovative Pilot Plant, IoW judges were also impressed with the pioneering aspects of a key project on Rathlin Island to improve water treatment compliance standards and implement a system to reduce chemicals used in the water supply process.

Through extensive research and working with IXOM Ltd – a world leader in water treatment processes, the team developed a unique Magnetic Ion Exchange (MIEX) ‘Mini MICo’ system which uses a combination of resins to effectively treat the water with no chemical waste produced.

The results from this project have demonstrated the economic, environmental and operational benefits of Ion Exchange technology. NI Water is looking forward to building on the extensive knowledge gained through the Derg and Rathlin projects to further our research into a myriad of treatment technologies to ensure the most effective solutions can be identified in the future.

Some of the registration and renewal fees of the Professional Registrations that we administrate will increase from the 1st January 2019.

These fees are decided by the Professional Bodies and not the Institute of Water.

The fees for 2019 are:

Environment Registration Fees by the Society for the Environment

  • For Chartered Environmentalists (CEnv), the new registration fee will be £86 and the annual renewal fee will be £43.
  • For Registered Environmental Technician (REnvTech), the new registration fee will be £40 and the annual renewal fee will be £20.

Engineering Registration Fees by the Engineering Council

  • For Chartered Engineer (CEng), the new registration fee will be £51.90 and the annual renewal fee will be £39.90.
  • For Incorporated Engineer (IEng), the new registration fee will be £43.80 and the annual renewal fee will be £33.80.
  • For Engineering Technician (EngTech), the new registration fee will be £17.90 and the annual renewal fee will be £19.40.

Registration and renewal fees by the Science Council for all science registrations will remain unchanged for 2019.

You’ll also be pleased to hear that there will be no increase in Institute of Water Membership fees.

An innovative and exciting new pilot cross-border Land Incentive Scheme has been launched in the River Derg catchment, which will support farmers in adopting farming practices that help to protect the quality of river water that is the source of drinking water for communities in Counties Donegal and Tyrone.

This scheme is part of a major €5.3M cross-border EU INTERREG VA funded project called Source to Tap, which aims to improve water quality in rivers and lakes in the Erne and Derg catchment areas which provide water that serves parts of counties Fermanagh, Tyrone, Donegal, Cavan, Leitrim and Longford.

Diane Foster NI Water Project Manager said:
“The Source to Tap project is led by NI Water in partnership with Irish Water, Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, East Border Region, Ulster University and The Rivers Trust and is funded by the EU’S INTERREG VA Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).
“We are delighted to launch this initiative as part of the overall project, which will give the farming community the opportunity to apply for 100% funding to support farmers in making small changes in farming practices such as using a contractor to spray rushes and installing stock fencing on watercourses.”

The overall aim of the scheme is to protect raw water quality at source by reducing contaminants getting into the water in the first place and raise awareness of the importance of protecting our precious drinking water resources.

The scheme will run from 25 July 2018 to 31July 2020 and will be operated on a first come first served basis through the Source to Tap project. The project employs three Project Officers who will work closely with farmers in the Derg area to guide them through the application process and help them identify what improvements can be made on their farms to benefit both their farm businesses and the water environment.

Speaking at the launch event, UFU deputy president, David Brown said: “This project is win-win for both the environment and agriculture. Farmers understand the importance of water quality and want to help make a difference. This project will help to give them the advice and tools to do so. It is a great example of collaborative working and we are very pleased to be a part of it.”

Michael Chance, Chairman of the Donegal Irish Farmers’ Association said that this scheme will be of huge benefit to the people of Donegal and Tyrone:
“This is real money and will be hugely beneficial in contributing to the enhancement of farmland in the Derg Catchment area while ensuring the protection of our water source for generations to come.”

Michael Clarke, Co. Tyrone Chairman of the Northern Ireland Agricultural Producers’ Association added:
“While this particular project directs funding towards improvement at source and this assists greatly with prevention of pollution, its impact will benefit complete communities in all walks of life and as such we fully support the initiative.”

Match-funding for the project has been provided by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs in Northern Ireland and the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government in Ireland.

Further details are available by contacting +44 (0)7799 774702 or by e-mail at: