NI river water quality dipped slightly in last 3 years – DAERA

Northern Ireland’s river quality has dipped slightly in the past three years – but marine water bodies are marginally better, according to a new report on the matter.

The Northern Ireland Water Framework Directive Statistics 2018 Update was published by Northern Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) today (Wednesday, September 26).

This 2018 statistical report is an update to statistics published in 2015, according to DAERA.

The report contains summary information on the status of rivers, lakes, and marine waters for the three River Basin Districts in Northern Ireland.

Regarding river status, in 2018, 31.3% of 450 river water bodies were classified as ‘high’ or ‘good’ quality, compared to 32.7% in 2015.

Lake status has remained largely the same over the past three years. In 2018, five of the 21 lake water bodies in Northern Ireland were classified as ‘good’ status and 16 lake water bodies were classified as less than ‘good’ status. This is the same as 2015 classification.

Meanwhile, marine status has seen a slight improvement. In 2018, 10 of 25 transitional and coastal water bodies were classified at ‘high’ or ‘good’ status and the remaining 15 at ‘moderate or worse’ status.

This compares to nine classified at ‘high’ or ‘good’ status in 2015.

The report is being published as a precursor to the preparation of an interim report to the European Commission on the Programme of Measures as set out in second cycle River Basin Management Plans.

These plans have been prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Water Framework Directive (WFD).