Roadway Runoff and Nutrient-loss Reduction

Project AttributeProject Details
Project TitleRoadway Runoff and Nutrient-loss Reduction
EPA Project Code2018-W-MS-38
Lead OrganisationTeagasc
CoordinatorOwen Fenton
EPA Research 2014 – 2020 Theme(s)Water: Theme 4: Understanding, Managing and Conserving our Water Resources
EPA Research Pillars
Project Start and End DatesStart: 07/01/2019
End (if applicable): 06/01/2022
Revised End Date (if applicable): 06/07/2022
EPA Project TypeMedium Scale Project
EPA Award TypeSTRIVE – Project Based Awards
Current Project StatusGrant Awarded
Total Funding Amount349990.00
Project Abstract/DescriptionAchieving Water Framework Directive goals requires reduction in nutrient losses from point and diffuse sources, and mitigation of pathways delivering those nutrients to surface receptors. Farm roadways, which receive high concentrations of animal deposition and may have significant hydrological connectivity to receptors, have been little investigated relative to field areas with respect to their role in nutrient transport. Under the Nitrates Action Plan all direct runoff from farm roadways to watercourses and dry ditches will be prohibited by 2021. The goal of this project is to evaluate the extent, connectivity and nature of farm roadways and to quantify their role in nutrient transport. The project will devise and test mitigation strategies including best management practices and engineering solutions. Research will be conducted in study sites participating in the Teagasc Agricultural Catchments and Heavy Soils Programs, representing a range of soil drainage classes and land use intensities. The objectives of this project are to quantify phosphorus and nitrate loss from roadways, to devise a system of assessment for determining roadway quality and provide guidance for the mitigation of potential losses. This research will yield peer-reviewed publications, information for policy design and practical solutions for the farming community. The expected outcomes of this proposed research are intended to address scientific knowledge gaps, policy requirements and to offer practical solutions to be implemented at farm level. The deliverables from this project include a visual assessment tool for the assessment of roadway quality and hence, to determine mitigation measures or best management practices to be implemented as necessary. This will assist farm advisors to provide informed advice in accordance with section 3 of the Nitrates Explanatory Handbook (2018). As runoff rapidly transports nutrients it is expected that roadway mitigation strategies will yield perceptible reductions to nutrient losses soon after their implementation, and additionally, will continue to reduce loads over a prolonged period, provided the roadways are maintained. Roadway improvements will therefore provide a simultaneous rapid and a long-term impact. The project will produce peer-reviewed scientific papers (minimum 3) and is expected to generate further research and funding projects.
EPA Scientific OfficerLisaJohnson

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