Irish Water is calling on companies of all sizes across Ireland to apply for its Water Stewardship Programme, its comprehensive training programme which helps organisations lower their water use, thereby reducing operating costs and protecting the environment.
This comes as over 40 graduates become water stewards for their organisations today at a ceremony at Trinity College Dublin, held by Irish Water.
Over 600 people have undertaken the programme to date from a variety of sectors including hospitality, education, manufacturing, transport and more. The programme, the first of its kind globally, is an international best practice accreditation from the European Water Stewardship Programme. The programme is endorsed by Ibec, Enterprise Ireland and Chambers Ireland, and supported by the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science.
Irish Water’s Water Stewardship Programme, delivered by Central Solutions and available for organisations in any sector, is fully funded by Irish Water and the Lean & Green Skillnet. Participants undertake two months of comprehensive virtual training to better understand how to conserve water in their organisation, including:
- Creating a water map to visualise how and where water is used;
- Reviewing their water monitoring strategy, and investigating how it may be updated/improved;
- Identifying short payback water efficiency and conservation projects, such as rainwater harvesting;
- Embedding governance processes to actively engage all stakeholders to conserve water;
- Developing a water charter as a holistic approach to reducing water in their organisation.
Irish Water today also launched its Annual Certification Scheme, whereby organisations have the opportunity to be recognised on Irish Water’s Wall of Honour. Showcased on its website water.ie/stewardship, the Wall of Honour recognises organisations that have made massive strides in their water conservation efforts.
Companies across the board have already made significant progress in reducing their water use through participating in Irish Water’s Water Stewardship Programme, resulting in monetary and environmental benefits. For example, Dublin City University reduced its water consumption by over 50,000m3 annually, resulting in a saving of more than €100,000 in water costs. ABP also halved its water consumption, meaning it reached water conservation targets two years ahead of schedule. Additionally, Water Stewardship Programme alumni ABP Bandon and Wyeth have both achieved Alliance for Water Stewardship platinum certification, only a handful of sites in the world to do so.
Welcoming the new graduates, Yvonne Harris, Irish Water’s Head of Customer Operations, said: “We’re delighted to welcome over 40 graduates from our Water Stewardship Programme today, bringing the total number of water stewards in organisations to over 600. These stewards are proactively driving water conservation initiatives in organisations large and small across the country to protect our precious water supplies. Through our programme, more than 1,400 new water conservation projects have been put in place, resulting in significant cost savings and benefitting the environment. Our programme is internationally recognised and is the first of its kind globally, and we encourage all organisations to apply online to take part.
“Today we also launch our Annual Certification Scheme, which is available for all organisations with a dedicated water steward. The scheme enables any site with evidence of its continued commitment to water stewardship to receive recognition on our Wall of Honour and to join the award-winning peer-to-peer network of leading water stewardship firms across Ireland. Member organisations also benefit from access to exclusive events, research opportunities and best-practice tools in Water Stewardship.”
Ken Stockil, CEO at Central Solutions added: “As delivery partner for Irish Water, Central Solutions ensures participants in the Water Stewardship Programme understand the skills required to reduce water, energy and related inputs across the four key principles of water stewardship, namely quality, quantity, governance and catchment. We welcome the new graduates and encourage companies across the board to get involved in the programme. Water stewardship is a collective and holistic approach that can achieve substantial economic, environmental and societal benefits for all water users.”
Those interested in participating in Irish Water’s Water Stewardship Programme can apply on Irish Water’s dedicated webpage.