Cllr Mary Hilda Cavanagh
Kilkenny county council has been urged to introduce a grant aid scheme for rain water harvesting.
Cllr Mary Hilda Cavanagh who farms in Galmoy, north Kilkenny explained that her parents’ generation – especially those who lived in the countryside - didn’t have all the modern conveniences and always harvested rainwater and recycled water as much as possible.
"They were all environmentalists by necessity. We have lost a lot of their wisdom when it comes to our interactions with nature and it is time to rediscover a lot of their practices and bring them back into use in our daily lives," she said.
“I would like to see underwater rainwater harvesting tanks incorporated into all new buildings and introduced into existing buildings where possible. I would also like to see guidance for householders and businesses produced advising on rainwater harvesting and water recycling.
“Many of us grow our own vegetables and at a time like this with high temperatures and little chance of rain, our vegetable crops,like all other crops suffer and the precious value of water becomes clearer than ever.
"Thousands of householders and community groups work very hard to create and maintain flower gardens and flower beds as well as hanging baskets and window boxes – all need water in summer. We often believe that Ireland couldn’t possibly run into water difficulties and sometimes it seems to rain all summer long. However, this hot spell has brought home to us that water is a valuable resource and one that requires huge infrastructure and careful management if we aren’t to experience water shortages.
“Our weather has become changeable with extremes of hot and cold and violent storms in recent months. While I hope these extremes will not become common, I believe practical, sustainable and responsible use of water should be a feature of Irish life at all times.
“I hope councillors will support my motion and that here at Kilkenny County Council, we can examine what best we can do to encourage water recycling and rainwater harvesting.”