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Article 7 of the WFD requires monitoring programmes to assess the achievement of Drinking Water Protected Areas (DWPA) objectives. Although the WFD does not introduce any additional specific monitoring criteria for groundwater bodies that are also DWPA, the Article 7 DWPA objectives indicate that any groundwater monitoring within DWPA should be used to support DWPA management and assessment. For example, this information could be used to identify any deterioration in the quality of abstracted groundwater that may potentially lead to an increase in the level of purification/treatment.
Water quality samples are taken at a representative selection of significant potable groundwater abstractions in the Republic of Ireland. DWPA monitoring locations and frequency will be informed by regulatory monitoring data.
Groundwater quality and level monitoring is required in groundwater bodies associated with Species and Habitat Protected Areas to determine the impacts of groundwater on these ecosystems. The hydrological interaction between groundwater and such ecological systems is frequently complex and very dependent on site-specific conditions.
Initially, groundwater quality and level monitoring will be undertaken at one wetland, which has been confirmed as being groundwater dependent and is "at risk" from anthropogenic pressures. Monitoring at additional sites will be implemented as the conceptual understanding of the interaction between species / habitats and surrounding groundwater improves and groundwater dependent sites are shown to be impacted due to pressures on groundwater.
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