Ireland's Water Improved By Half

A report on water quality in Ireland has found the number of polluted waterways in Ireland has almost halved in the last three years.

According to a report published by the Environmental Protection Agency named Water Quality in Ireland 2007 – 2009 serious pollution in rivers and streams was reduced to 52.5km or 0.4% of surveyed channel length - its lowest level in recent decades.

The number of seriously polluted sites had also been halved to 20.

Launching the report, Micheal Ó Cinneide, Director, EPA Office of Environmental Assessment, said: “In comparison with other EU member States, Ireland has better than average water quality. While there is evidence of an overall improvement in water quality in Ireland, further actions are essential if we are to achieve our water quality targets for 2015 and 2021 as required by the Water Framework Directive.

"The EPA will work with the network of local authorities, with sectoral groups and other agencies in tackling the water quality challenges.”

In rivers, 70% of channel was found in good condition, but more measures were needed to restore the quality of the 30% found polluted. The number of seriously polluted river sites was down to 20 – half that seen in 2004-2006.

The EPA said increased investment in wastewater treatment had helped to eliminate some of the pollution.

Éamon Ó Cuív, Minister for the Environment, and Minister for Housing Michael Finneran announced their Department’s joint 2011 Rural Water Programme.

Announcing block grant allocations worth over €71 million Minister Finneran said he was confident the money would play a "major role" in bringing rural water schemes up to standard and in completing any remaining schemes in the Rural Water Action Plan this year.

Speaking at the launch of the grants, Minister Finneran said “the primary aim of these allocations is to progress the Rural Water Programme as quickly as possible with a view to providing quality drinking water supplies to rural consumers and communities.”


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