A total of 224 lakes are currently included in the EPA’s national surface waters monitoring programme. This covers around 80% of the surface area of all lakes in Ireland.
This monitoring programme includes:
The location and number of lakes on the monitoring programme reflect the distribution of lakes nationally.
Each lake is monitored for a range of different plants and animals, including:
The lakes are also monitored for chemical and physical parameters. The chemical and physical parameters measured in the field and laboratory include:
The hydrological parameters include water levels.
The plants and animals are monitored once every three years while the physical and chemical parameters are measured several times a year.
Other changes recorded include any change in:
For technical information on our survey methods and our detailed monitoring programme, please see our report.
Ecologically healthy lakes are an important natural resource. Healthy lakes are important:
In recent years, the water quality of lakes has largely been maintained due to:
However, there are still significant challenges. Just over half (51%) of monitored lakes in Ireland are at ‘good’ and ‘high’ ecological status, while the remainder are at less than good (49%). We need to act so that lakes at less than good status improve in a timely manner.
Seventeen (8%) of the monitored lakes are at ‘high’ status. This means these lakes show no, or only very minor, signs of human disturbance. At the other end of the spectrum, 11 (5%) monitored lakes are at ‘bad’ status, which means human activity is affecting them badly.
The ecological status of rivers in Ireland 2013 to 2018 with hydrometric areas numbered.
Catchments.ie shares science and stories about our waters. This includes the Catchments Newsletter, detailed assessments for our 46 catchments and 583 subcatchments, downloadable chemistry data, and dashboards for an overview of status, pressures, impacts and objectives.