What does this mean and what can be done about it?
Two public meetings will take place next week on Tuesday 1st March and Thursday 3rd March 2022 on water quality in Co. Tipperary and on the draft River Basin Management Plan (2022-2027). This Plan sets out the environmental objectives to protect and restore our rivers, lakes, estuaries and coastal waters together with the actions and measures required to ensure those objectives are achieved. The two online public consultation meetings offer an opportunity for local people to input into this draft plan, to make a submission and to get involved in helping to protect and restore local water bodies.
People throughout Co. Tipperary are now asked for their views on what can be done to improve water quality in waterbodies. Recent reports show the effects of climate change are becoming more noticeable. Agencies responsible for protecting Ireland’s rivers have found that agriculture, hydromorphology (physical changes) and forestry are the 3 leading causes of pollution in our rivers and lakes in Tipperary. Nationally, the latest water quality data shows that 53% of our surface waters (rivers, lakes, estuarine waters) are in ‘Good’ or ‘High’ ecological status, it also shows that 47% are in an ‘Unsatisfactory’ ecological status.
Good water quality in our natural water bodies is a precious resource. The Local Authority Waters Programme (LAWPRO) works to promote a healthy water environment. It does so by identifying water quality issues and seeks ways to improve them. The EPA assessment of river water quality in 2019 and 2020 indicates some recovery in water quality, with more rivers showing improvements (345) than declines (230). Water quality analysis indicates that agriculture, hydromorphology (or physical changes to habitat conditions and water flow) together with forestry and urban waste water are the main pressures on water quality.
The work of LAWPRO forms part of a new and collaborative approach engaging all stakeholders, specifically at a local level, to protect and improve water quality. Over recent years, Ireland has made substantial progress in how we manage our water services and how we work collaboratively to improve water quality. Despite this water quality is still in decline. Healthy and well protected river catchments are vital for people, nature and our economy. Clean water is vital for protecting public health, supporting economic growth and preserving our natural water bodies. In turn, clean water support habitats, biodiversity and ecosystem which depend on water, which in turn support all of us in the face of a climate and biodiversity emergency.
LAWPRO encourages local people to get involved in the management of their local water bodies, to have your say and get involved. The two meetings in County Tipperary will focus on different municipal districts. The meeting of Tuesday 1st March will focus on the Nenagh and Thurles municipal districts. The meeting will cover the following catchments Lower Shannon, Lough Derg, Nore and Suir. The meeting on Thursday evening the 3rd March will focus on the Clonmel, Carrick-on-Suir, Cashel-Tipperary municipal districts and will cover the Suir catchment.
For information on the Draft River Basin Management Plan visit: https://www.gov.ie/en/consultation/2bda0-public-consultation-on-the-draf...
For more information contact Ruairí Ó Conchúir, Community Water Officer (085 8083715 / email@example.com).