The Agricultural Catchments Programme, which has been in place since 2008, is an intensive monitoring programme used to evaluate the impact of Ireland's Nitrates Action Programme (NAP) and the Nitrates derogation which are implemented under the Nitrates Directive.
The Programme is funded by my Department and has been delivered by Teagasc since its inception. I recently announced the continuation and enhancement of the Agricultural Catchments Programme from 2020 to 2023. Funding allocated for Phase 4 of the Programme is €2.5 million annually, while funding for 2019 is €1.6 million.
Phase 4 is an expansion on the previous phases and will include the collection of data on greenhouse gases emissions, ammonia emissions and soil carbon sequestration as well as extending the current baseline monitoring of water quality. This will aid my Department achieve our targets under the Climate Action Plan while, at the same time, continue the monitoring of water quality required under the Nitrates regulations.