The Water Forum welcomes the EPA Water Quality Indicators Report 2020 published today. While there are some welcome improvements in water quality in 345 rivers, 230 rivers show a decline. The increase in the highest quality sites from 20 in 2019 to 41 this year is encouraging but there is a long way to go to repair the impacts of the last 40 years of human activity in Ireland that has resulted in deteriorating water quality across the country, reducing our pristine water bodies from 532 (EPA report 2019) to the 41 reported today.
Water resources and ecosystem protection is essential for public health, environmental protection and economic well-being. Most particularly, water needs to be valued more.
The draft 3rd Cycle River Basin Management Plan will be published shortly and will outline the
actions that Ireland must take to achieve good water quality in all its waters. The launch of the draft plan will be followed by a public consultation that will provide an opportunity for everyone to have a say on how our rivers and water resources should be managed to protect this extremely under-valued resource.
The Forum believes that the long running if not endemic pattern of water quality deterioration in Ireland must be reversed within this new cycle and failure to do so will have far reaching consequences for all aspects of Irish society-economically and socially as well as from an environmental perspective.