Just 94 farmers applied to the Department of Agriculture‘s Rainwater Harvesting Scheme by the closing date of 31 December 2013.

The scheme was introduced three years ago in order to provide grant-aid for the installation of equipment for rainwater harvesting. Grant-aid is at a rate of 40 per cent up to a maximum investment ceiling of €25,000, ie a maximum grant of €10,000.

The objective of the scheme is to conserve water by maximising the use of rainfall run-off and reduce water costs on farm. However just under 100 farmers have applied.

The scheme was to be targeted, in the first instance, at young trained dairy farmers. It must be noted that grant-aid was not available under this scheme in respect of any unit of work grant-aided under the National Development Plan 2000-2006 or under any other scheme provided for under the 2007-2013 Rural Development Programme, for example REPS, AEOS, FIS, Forestry.