Two thousand, three hundred and fifty-five river water bodies were surveyed in the period 2013-2018 representing 74% of Ireland's total of 3,192 river water bodies. 1,247 (53%) of monitored river water bodies are in high or good ecological status, with 1,108 (47%) in moderate, poor or bad ecological status. The more densely populated and economically developed eastern and north-eastern parts of the country are most affected by water quality issues. The number of bad status river water bodies increased from 6 in 2010-2015 to 9 in 2013-2018.
Nationally there has been a 5.5% decline in the ecological status of river water bodies since 2015. There has been a significant decline in the number of high ecological status river water bodies which have fallen by nearly a third since 2015 and an increase in the number of poor status water bodies, which have increased by a third over the same time period. These changes across the spectrum of river quality indicate that river water bodies are under pressure from a wide range of human activities.
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