Sustainability Research

Ireland’s waters are one of our major natural resources. Plentiful availability of good quality water offers a significant competitive advantage to sectors such as agriculture, industry and tourism.

Water is a resource that must be carefully managed, and improving water quality status is a national priority for Ireland.

EPA Research’s water pillar deals with groundwater, surface water, transitional and coastal water; as well as wastewater, drinking, bathing and shellfish waters.

The overall aim of the water pillar is to support relevant water policy and to protect our water environment, contributing to achieving excellent water quality in Ireland.

The thematic areas under EPA Research’s Water Pillar for 2014-2020 will be:

  • Theme 1: Safe Water
  • Theme 2: Ecosystem Services and Sustainability
  • Theme 3: Innovative Water Technologies
  • Theme 4: Understanding, Managing and Conserving our Water Resources
  • Theme 5: Emerging and Cross-cutting Issues

It will support the emerging policy & implementation research needs in relation to the implementation of the Water Framework Directive (WFD), as well as marine research considerations to support to the formulation and implementation of policies.

In addition, the EPA is coordinating a multi-agency transboundary programme of research on Environmental Impacts of Unconventional Gas Exploration & Extraction (UGEE), which has significant water elements, and is included under Theme 5: Emerging and Cross-cutting Issues.

Multi- and inter-disciplinary research is required on these themes, with expected social, economic, technology, environment and policy impacts.

These thematic areas also reflect EPA Research’s effort to align, where relevant, its programme with the international Strategic Research Agenda which was launched by the Water Joint Programming Initiative (JPI) in May 2013.

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