Cllr John Crowe is leading the call for a climate change strategy to be introduced in Co Clare.
At the July meeting of Clare County Council, the Sixmilebridge councillor put forward a motion seeking the local authority put in place necessary measures that would assist with water conservation in the county.
He stated, “Given the challenges posed by climate change with Ireland now experiencing wetter winters and drier summers, that Clare County Council support the promotion of sustainable water conservation initiatives, by developing a Climate Change Strategy which would promote increased water conservation measures including rain water harvesting and give consideration in conjunction with the Government of providing grant aid to individual businesses and householders to encourage the wider use of the practice.”
Responding, Director of Physical Development at Clare County Council, Carmel Kirby confirmed that their efforts in promoting water conservation are “ongoing”. “Every local authority in Ireland is required to prepare a Climate Adaptation Strategy before September 2019. Each Climate Adaptation Strategy must have regard to the National Adaptation Framework published by the DCCAE in January, 2018”.
Kirby outlined that “The DCCAE has confirmed funding for Climate Action Regional Offices (CARO) to assist local authorities in the preparation of their plans. Clare County Council is part of the Atlantic Seaboard South Region with Cork County Council being the lead authority”.
Carmel pointed out various stages of the process which include; forming an adaption team, preparing the ground, assessing the current adaptation baseline, identifying future climate risk, identifying, assessing and prioritising options, developing pathways and drafting a strategy which will be followed by implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
“For these reasons, it is too early to rule in or out any particular strategies or measures but the proposals in this notice of motion can be considered as part of the process,” she added. “Promoting resource efficiency including water conservation is an integral part of Clare County Councils Greener Clare Programme and work with businesses, communities and festival organisers is ongoing. The Local Agenda 21 Environmental Partnership fund provides grant support to community groups for promoting water conservation in their communities”.