Authors: Ian Thomas, Michael Bruen, Eva Mockler, Christopher Werner, Per-Erik Mellander, Sim Reaney, Anna Rymszewicz, Gavan McGrath, Edith Eder, Andrew Wade, Adrian Collins and Berit Arheimer, November 2021
Eutrophication, often driven by phosphorus, is the most significant issue for inland surface waters in Ireland. Half of Irish river water bodies still require improvements to bring them to good status, as required by the Water Framework Directive (WFD) (2000/60/EC). This research contributes to Ireland’s response to the third River Basin Management Plan of the WFD and to the development and implementation of more sustainable and cost-effective agricultural policies.
Authors: Mike Christie, Jasper Kenter, Craig Bullock, Michael Bruen, Marcin Penk, Christian Feld and Mary Kelly-Quinn, August 2021
The Water Framework Directive requires the EPA to monitor the quality of water in Ireland’s rivers and lakes. This research reviewed the multiple values and benefits of nature, often termed ‘ecosystem services’ or’ nature’s contributions to people (NCPs)’. It provides insights into the multiple ways people value rivers and associated ecosystem services/ NCPs. The research also developed a decision support tool to assess the impacts on ecosystem services/NCPs of alternative river catchment measures.
Authors: Kevin Fitzgibbon, William Whelan-Curtin, Chinna Devarapu, Patricia Loren, Colin O’Sullivan and Ian Aherne, June 2021
The Innovative Water Monitoring project aimed to create an additional innovative sensing system for real-time detection of water quality parameters, to support the existing water quality monitoring policies, programmes and requirements under the Water Framework Directive, the Bathing Water Quality legislation, etc. It has demonstrated the ability to detect two such parameters, nitrates and Escherichia coli (E. coli), using the system.
Authors: Raymond Flynn, Francis Mackin and Florence Renou-Wilson, June 2021
Blanket bogs are common in many areas of Ireland, contributing to our most iconic landscapes. However, although they cover approximately 13% of the country, natural processes sustaining blanket bogs remain poorly understood. This research aimed to better understand blanket bog hydrology through a 3-year programme in which researchers monitored the flow and water quality in streams draining Irish blanket bogs that are relatively intact.
Authors: Eugene Farrell, Mary Bourke, Tiernan Henry, Gesche Kindermann, Kevin Lynch, Terry Morley, Barry O’Dwyer, John O’Sullivan and Jonathan Turner, June 2021
This research is a series of field experiments that measured patterns in the sediment and water pathways in the Golden Strand catchment, Achill Island, County Mayo. The results show that climate changes (storminess, temperature, precipitation) impacts are site specific and require long-term, multi-disciplinary field monitoring programmes (geomorphology; ecology; hydrology) to capture local specificity and environmental variability.
Authors: Richard Boyle, Joanna O’Riordan, Fergal O’Leary and Laura Shannon, May 2021
This report examines lessons learned from the water governance arrangements put in place for the River Basin Management Plan (RBMP) 2018–2021 for Ireland through the lens of experimental governance. The study finds that the three-tier governance structure is appropriate and should be continued. However, there is still room for improvement in the area of adapting and improving the operation of the existing arrangements.
Authors: Joanna O’Riordan, Richard Boyle, Fergal O’Leary and Laura Shannon, May 2021
This report assesses water governance in Ireland using the Water Governance Indicator Framework, a tool developed by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in 2018 to assist countries in assessing their progress towards the European Union’s Water Framework Directive.
Authors: Patrick Bresnihan, Arielle Hesse and James Merricks White, January 2021
The quality of many of Ireland’s freshwater sources is declining, impacting in turn the quality and affordability of Ireland’s drinking water services. This project examines the history and development of the group water scheme sector, identifying how and why it has been successful in providing essential water services to rural Ireland, and providing several key findings that have implications beyond the rural water sector.
Authors: Joseph V. McGovern, Stephen Nash and Michael Hartnett, December 2020
In this project three Irish estuaries were modelled with the aim of quantifying the impact on water quality of existing nutrient loading from direct and diffuse inputs. Recommendations on the necessary nutrient load reductions to improve estuarine water quality and the appropriate pressure to target in nutrient load reductions for the three systems studied are provided.
Authors: Alan O’Riordan, Michael Nolan, Pierre Lovera, Julio Gutiérrez Moreno, Robert Daly and Benjamin O’Sullivan, November 2020
One important challenge in the 21st century is the ability to provide a clean and pollutant-free source of water. This project aimed to develop electrochemical and optical-based sensors for detection of organic contaminants (herbicides) and heavy metals. This research has shed light on the potential for the development and optimisation of novel environmental sensors and anti-biofouling strategies.
Authors: Yunhong Shi, Dunzhu Li, Laurence Gill, Bruce Misstear, Ian O’Donohue and Liwen Xiao, November 2020
Vartry Reservoir is a very important drinking water source in Ireland. This project collected and analysed historical water quality and ecology data from 2016 to 2018 and a series of laboratory experiments were carried out to investigate the causes of diatom blooms to identify the pressures. The study also monitored nutrient levels in both the feeding rivers and the reservoir.
Authors: Heather Lally, Ian O’Connor, Liam Broderick, Mark Broderick, Olaf Jensen and Conor Graham, September 2020
Water sampling remains a key component in the monitoring and assessment of aquatic environments. Sampling requiring the use of a boat can lead to issues around accessibility, particularly at remote lakes where there may be a lack of a slipway. This research has successfully demonstrated that water chemistry data collected using drone water sampling methods are not statistically different from those produced by boat sampling.
Authors: Daire Ó hUallacháin, Eleanor Jennings, Patricia Antunes, Stuart Green, Paul Kilgarriff, Suzanne Linnane, Paul O’Callaghan, Matt O’Sullivan, Fiona Regan, Mary Ryan and Mary Kelly-Quinn, July 2020
Loss of pollutants from grassland systems to water bodies is a significant threat to water quality and represents one of the main environmental problems facing agri-ecosystems in Ireland. This project evaluated existing literature and generated temporal and spatial data on the environmental impact of cattle exclusion measures.
Authors: Philip M. Perrin, Stephen Waldren, Marcin R. Penk and Fionnuala H. O’Neill , April 2020
Coastal saltmarshes provide a range of important ecosystem services but face increasing challenges because of human activities. Ecological assessments of saltmarshes are required to inform reporting in compliance with the European Union (EU) Habitats Directive (HD) (92/43/EEC) and Water Framework Directive (WFD) (2000/60/EC).
Authors: Mary Kelly-Quinn, Michael Bruen, Mike Christie, Craig Bullock, Hugh Feeley, Edel Hannigan, Thibault Hallouin, Fiona Kelly, Ronan Matson and Ewa Siwicka, April 2020
The ESManage project tested an eight-step methodological framework to help embed ecosystem services and the ecosystem services approach into policy and decision-making for the sustainable management of water resources, as required by the Water Framework Directive (WFD).
Authors: Eoin Byrne, Kevin Fitzgibbon and Anca Minescu, October 2019
This project developed a new online national WRI database by collaborating with the water research community in Ireland, using an interactive consultation and design process. It is a central database of information on all WRI in Ireland, including the types of WRI available for various research areas and applications, from the freshwater sector to the marine, climate and agriculture sectors.
Authors: Eoin Byrne, Kevin Fitzgibbon, Anca Minescu and Julia Blanke, October 2019
This project addresses water reuse in the context of the circular economy in Ireland. This study has reviewed the policy background for water reuse; assessed the international practices in water reuse; examined the main technologies that are used for water recovery and their suitability; and conducted significant stakeholder engagement, including the first national public survey on attitudes to water reuse in Ireland.
Authors: Katrina A. Macintosh, Jason Chin, Daren McHugh, Jasmine Connolly, Juan Castilla Archilla, José Antonio Pícon, Pia McAleenan, John P. Quinn, Panagiotis Manesiotis, Vincent O’Flaherty, and John W. McGrath., September 2019
This project reviewed the current state of the art with respect to Phosphorus (P) removal and recycling, assessed the potential of novel removal and recovery systems, and facilitated an All Island Phosphorus Sustainability Workshop.
Authors: Ricardo Bermejo, Svenja Heesch, Moya O’Donnell, Nessa Golden, Michéal MacMonagail, Maeve Edwards, Edna Curley, Owen Fenton, Eve Daly and Liam Morrison, August 2019
The Sea-MAT project aimed to understand the role of local environmental conditions in the development of green tides in Ireland.
Authors: Christopher Werner, Paul Nolan and Owen Naughton, February 2019
This report describes the application of numerical weather prediction (NWP) simulations to develop high-quality, long-term, gridded climate datasets of hydro-climate variables for Ireland, covering the period 1981–2016.