The EPA Hydrology Bulletin for February 2023 shows localised drought conditions that have resulted in river flows being below long-term averages across the country. The hydrology bulletin is based on rainfall, river flows, lake levels, groundwater levels and spring outflows for February. Their results show lower than average water levels across the country with only a few locations in the west being at normal flow levels (Picture).
The EU Drought Observatory (EDO) have noted that Ireland had some of the lowest soil moisture content across Europe in 3rd ten day period in February. The EDO data is derived from precipitation measurements, satellite measurements and modelled soil moisture content. In the east and midlands, the soil moisture deficit was mapped as red to indicate vegetative stress, that will have implications for crop and grass growth.
If levels of rainfall remain low there will be issues for agricultural production this summer and also for water resource management particularly where there is high water demand and driest summer conditions in the east and south-eastern regions.
We need more urgent actions to develop a water saving culture in Ireland. Recent research commissioned by the Water Forum highlights the need for a National Framework for Domestic Water Conservation
The hydrology bulletin is available here:
EU Drought Observatory