The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and Intel Corporation have launched a blanket bog restoration project in the Wicklow Mountains National Park.
The restoration project, taking place over the coming months, will see 60ha of drained bog rewetted to increase water storage levels in part of the River Liffey headwaters by an expected 50 to 90 million litres.
These headwaters supply the Poulaphouca [Blessington] reservoir, a drinking water source for the greater Dublin area.
The bog restoration is hoped to also protect biodiversity, improve carbon storage and water quality.
This is the first project funded in Europe as part of Intel’s 2030 RISE goal to achieve net positive water.
This public-private project collaboration is one of the first of its kind in Ireland for water restoration and the protection of biodiversity.
There is an estimated 4,000ha of degraded blanket bog in Wicklow Mountains National Park. Degraded blanket bog is caused by a range of land use activities including drainage.
Welcoming the agreement, Minister for Heritage and Electoral Reform Malcolm Noonan said: “These beautiful habitats are vitally important for a range of species and also provide important carbon stores and sinks.
“I hope that this innovative pilot project will encourage a broader movement of financing and strategic engagement to support the achievement of Ireland’s biodiversity objectives.
“Companies like Intel rely on natural resources like water and the ecosystems that provide those resources in order to manufacture their products.
“It’s vital that private sector organisations address the protection of the natural assets that they depend on in the same way as other types of risk.”