​​​CatchmentCARE (Catchment Actions for Resilient Eco-systems) is an EU-funded project that aims to improve freshwater quality in cross-border river basins across three cross-border catchments. The aims will be achieved through development of three water quality improvement projects in the Finn, Blackwater and Arney catchments and installation 50 boreholes across the region.

Project partners come with a broad range of knowledge and experience, to bring an added value to the project, further reinforcing the value of collaboration and working together for the good of not only the environment but also for our communities. Local authorities, Donegal County Council (Lead Partner), Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council, working with academia in Ulster University, as well as the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, British Geological Survey, Loughs Agency, Geological Survey Ireland and Inland Fisheries Ireland, bring a rich and diverse skill-set from which to bring the CatchmentCARE project forward.

Working in partnership, the consortium will develop three policy actions, six catchment actions and three community actions, based on three critical criteria:

  1. measurable impact on water quality;
  2. transferable beyond the three catchments; and
  3. contribute to a project legacy.

The actions selected will address water quality issues relating to hydromorphology, point and diffuse sources of pollution, farm nutrient management practices, characterisation and monitoring of groundwater quality, lag times in response to the implementation of measures and an economic analysis of the cost of achieving the objectives of the Water Framework Directive in the three catchments. Furthermore CatchmentCARE will contribute to achieving good status through the implementation of catchment restoration actions, capacity building of the local community, and crucially will provide a platform for cross-border knowledge exchange between community, governance, policy and scientific stakeholders.

Geological Survey Ireland, British Geological Survey and Geological Survey Northern Ireland are leading out on the Groundwater theme, which includes drilling boreholes, undertaking surface and down-hole geophysics, and groundwater sampling.

The 61 month project was awarded €13,792,436.45 (ERDF + Government Match Funding) under the INTERREG VA Programme in October 2017. The project was officially launched on 14 June 2018, in Co Donegal.