Summary: The quality of our surface waters has remained relatively static since 2007–2009 and improvements, planned for under the first river basin management cycle, have not been achieved.
ISBN: ISBN 978-1-84095-735-8
Filesize: 5,360 KB
The quality of our surface waters has remained relatively static since 2007–2009 and improvements, planned for under the first river basin management cycle, have not been achieved. Nationally, 91% of groundwater bodies, 57% of rivers, 46% of lakes, 31% of transitional (estuarine) waters and 79% of coastal waters are achieving either good or high status under the Water Framework Directive (WFD).
While the national picture is relatively stable, some water bodies have improved while others have deteriorated, which highlights that not enough has been done to prevent deterioration of water quality. The EPA is currently assessing the reasons for these changes in water quality, both positive and negative, to help inform what actions are needed to protect and improve water quality.
There were 1% and 2.6% declines respectively in high or good ecological status/potential of monitored river and lake water bodies since 2007–2009. The length of unpolluted river channel (Q4, Q4.5 and Q5 rivers) was static between 2007–2009 and 2013–2015 at 69% of the channel surveyed. There has been little net change in the quality of our monitored transitional water bodies since 2007–2009, with 69% of these water bodies classified as moderate or worse status during 2010–2015. 79% of coastal water bodies were classified as good or high status during 2010–2015. Groundwater quality remains good, with 99% of the groundwater underlying the country’s area being at good status (91% of groundwater bodies). The quality of water in our canals remains very high.
The reduction in the level of seriously polluted waters has continued, with only six river water bodies assigned bad status under the Water Framework Directive in 2010–2015 compared to 19 in 2007–2009. This is largely a result of the concerted effort led by the EPA to tackle these water bodies, called the ‘red dots’ programme.