The Department of Agriculture has launched a call for proposals for a European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on the theme of water quality.

Improving water quality is a key part of our efforts to protect our natural environment, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture Pippa Hackett said.

“The scale of the programme, with funding of €60m, is indicative of the Government’s commitment to addressing water quality declines from farming activity.

"Given recent water quality trends, we need to take a co-ordinated response to address the pressure that agriculture can place on water quality,” she said.

Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue said that the call for an EIP focuses on providing a voluntary incentive that will reward farmers who do more for water quality.

“From farmers to policymakers, we are all committed to the continued improvement of water quality and water courses across the country. This new EIP will play a key role in driving further tangible improvements in water quality while rewarding farmers for their efforts,” he said.

The Department of Heritage is contributing €10m to the fund, Minister of State for Heritage Malcolm Noonan said.

“The project’s focus on nature-based solutions can also be expected to deliver multiple benefits for water, biodiversity, flood attenuation and climate mitigation/adaptation,” he said.


Both the Local Authority Waters Programme and the Agricultural Sustainability Support and Advisory Programme involving Teagasc, local authorities, the dairy industry and Government identified a gap in support for farmers implementing targeted water protection measures.

The Environmental Protection Agency has also developed improved scientific tools for identifying environmental risks. These tools can help to guide the targeting of the right measures in the right place.

The European Innovation Partnership Agriculture (EIP-Agri) projects are locally led and harness innovative practices, to protect essential natural resources, such as water, on which farming and the wider community depends.

The closing date for this call is Friday 27 January 2023.

Further information on the EIP initiative and the guidelines for this call for proposals can be accessed on the Department website at DAFM European Innovation Partnership Scheme or by contacting