Water Quality and the Aquatic Environment

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Resource or Project Abstract

Widespread deterioration in water quality as a result of anthropogenic activity has led to the development and implementation of legislation at national and international levels. Recently, national legislation of European Union (EU) member states has been subsumed within the Water Framework Directive (WFD) (2000/60/EC), which seeks to ensure the effective and sustainable management of water resources, and to achieve and maintain good water quality for all water bodies by 2015 (Anon, 2005). The WFD management unit, River Basin District (RBD), encourages an integrated catchment-scale approach to water quality management (Rekolainen et al., 2003; Bennion and Battarbee, 2007). Management plans drawn up by RBDs have to include the design and implementation of programmes of measures (POMs) that are needed to ensure that the water quality objectives of the WFD are met within the stipulated timeframe. Programmes of measures devised to mitigate pollution impacts, including the impacts of nutrients (Crabtree et al., 2009), are largely based on existing European regulations and policies. Anthropogenic eutrophication, resulting from overenrichment by nutrients and in particular phosphorus (P), is a major cause of deteriorating water quality (Smith and Schindler, 2009). Although point sources of P (for example, waste water treatment plants [WWTPs]) are important, diffuse sources of P from agriculture have been identified as the main cause of nutrient enrichment in freshwaters (Jennings et al., 2003; Sharpley et al., 2009), and continue to prove a significant challenge to water-quality improvement efforts in the Irish Ecoregion (mainly comprising the island of Ireland). Since the 1980s and 1990s the proportion of water bodies classed as having moderate quality has increased (McGarrigle et al., 2010), in part due to a decline from good status: by the mid-2000s about 90% of water bodies in Northern Ireland (NI) were thought to be at risk of not making the WFD objectives (EHS, 2005), while in the Republic of Ireland (RoI) 64% of rivers and 38% of lakes were thought ?at risk? and ?probably at risk? (Anon, 2005). The EFFECT project sought to address this knowledge gap by evaluating changes in chemical water quality (CWQ) and biological water quality (BWQ) of a sample of rivers and lakes in the Irish Ecoregion following implementation of a range of POMs aimed at reducing P and other nutrient inputs to water bodies. Pollutants such as P have multiple sources within the landscape, while the processes governing their mobilisation vary spatially (e.g. as a result of differences in soil properties and land use) and temporally (e.g. due to seasonal variations in rainfall). EFFECT sought to capture this variability while examining a range of different POMs in a variety of environmental settings

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Contact Information for This Resource

Prof. David Taylor
Trinity College Dublin
Professor: School of Natural Sciences
School of Natural Sciences, Trinity College, University of Dublin, Dublin 2, Ireland
Telephone: +353-(0)1 896 1581
e-mail: taylord@tcd.ie

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Attachment Name and Download Link
Offline Print Quality Version    STRIVE_91_taylor_waterquality_prn.pdf  (2.42 Mb)
Project Report Optimised For Online Viewing    STRIVE_91_taylor_waterquality_web.pdf  (1.35 Mb)
Att 3    taylor_waterquality_epr.pdf   (8.04 Mb)

Suggested Citation Information

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Author(s)Taylor, D.
Title Of WebsiteSecure Archive For Environmental Research Data
Publication InformationWater Quality and the Aquatic Environment
Name of OrganisationEnvironmental Protection Agency Ireland
Electronic Address or URL http://erc.epa.ie/safer/resource?id=aae2b284-e937-11e2-8c2d-005056ae0019
Unique Identifieraae2b284-e937-11e2-8c2d-005056ae0019
Date of AccessLast Updated on SAFER: 2017-03-24

An example of this citation in proper usage:

Taylor, D.   "Water Quality and the Aquatic Environment". Associated datasets and digitial information objects connected to this resource are available at: Secure Archive For Environmental Research Data (SAFER) managed by Environmental Protection Agency Ireland http://erc.epa.ie/safer/resource?id=aae2b284-e937-11e2-8c2d-005056ae0019 (Last Accessed: 2017-03-24)


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Access Information For This Resource

SAFER-Data Display URL http://erc.epa.ie/safer/iso19115/display?isoID=3012
Resource KeywordsEFFECT, catchment, Anthropogenic eutrophication, phosphorus
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project Code2007-WQ-MS-3-S1
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project ThemeWater Quality
Resource Availability: Any User Can Download Files From This Resource
Limitations on the use of this ResourceAny attached datasets, data files, or information objects can be downloaded for further use in scientific applications under the condition that the source is properly quoted and cited in published papers, journals, websites, presentations, books, etc. Before downloading, users must agree to the "Conditions of Download and Access" from SAFER-Data. These appear before download. Users of the data should also communicate with the original authors/owners of this resource if they are uncertain about any aspect of the data or information provided before further usage.
Number of Attached Files (Publicly and Openly Available for Download): 3
Project Start Date Monday 1st January 2007 (01-01-2007)
Earliest Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Monday 1st January 2007 (01-01-2007)
Most Recent Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Monday 1st August 2011 (01-08-2011)
Published on SAFERWednesday 10th July 2013 (10-07-2013)
Date of Last EditWednesday 10th July 2013 at 11:50:08 (10-07-2013)
Datasets or Files Updated On Wednesday 10th July 2013 at 11:50:08 (10-07-2013)

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Geographical and Spatial Information Related To This Resource

Description of Geographical Characteristics of This Project or Dataset
WP1: large (subcatchment) and small (catchments in RoI and in RoI and NI combined [the Irish Ecoregion]) scales. The large-scale/small-area study focused on the catchment of Lough Sheelin in the RoI and also permitted analysis of the efficacy of POMs targeting P in rivers and Lough Sheelin. The small-scale/large-area study utilised river water quality and environmental data from 72 catchments in the RoI and NI. WP2: two catchments in NI: the Colebrooke and the Upper Bann. WP3: Focusing on the Blackwater catchment, WP 4 tested that a voluntary scheme to replace the most defective septic tank systems with state-of-the-art equipment, introduced between July and November 2007, had no impact on CWQ during low flows. The Blackwater is the largest of six rivers flowing into hypereutrophic Lough Neagh, NI (Foy et al., 2003). The study area comprised three subcatchments with similar drumlinised landscapes blanketed by gleyed soils (Cruickshank, 1997) and isolated from the aquifer by a layer of glacial till

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Supplementary Information About This Resource

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Lineage information about this project or dataset
Anthropogenic eutrophication of rivers and lakes has become a major and persistent problem throughout the Irish Ecoregion. In response, measures aimed at reversing eutrophication and its effects have been implemented. These measures largely target the mitigation of inputs of phosphorus (P) and other nutrients. However, few studies have been carried out into the suitablity and effectiveness of these measures and the factors that potentially influence recovery of rivers and lakes following their implementation. Focusing on the Irish Ecoregion, the EFFECT1 project aimed both to better understand the role of environmental conditions in mediating the effectiveness of measures aimed at reducing P and other nutrient inputs, and to determine the effects on surface water quality (rivers, streams and lakes) of their implementation in different geographic settings.
Supplementary Information
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