Why is water quality important?
We need safe and secure waters to supply agriculture, industry and our drinking water needs. It is important that we understand what causes damage to our waters and work together to protect them. As part of Water Quality Week and World Water Day today, LAWPRO Scientist Ruth Hennessy has more here
Healthy waters support our economy; agriculture needs a constant supply of fresh clean water for animals, crops, for dairy and other food processing. Much of our tourist industry and the natural amenities that have become so important to us during Covid 19 (our beaches, Blueways etc) also depend on clean waters. Similarly, we need safe and secure waters to supply industry and our drinking water needs. It is important that we understand what causes damage to our waters and work together to protect them.
Water connects every part of our landscape; mountains, bogs, woodlands, farmlands, towns, beaches are all linked by the rain that falls on them and the rivers flowing through them. Those rivers support an abundance of life and there is an intricate web of life thriving in these natural river habitats. The tiny fish eggs, insect larva, worms and beetles in the gravels, the fish in the currents and pools and the birds and small mammals along the river bank, are all in balance and dependent on each other. Rivers also reflect the health and biodiversity of the wider environment; where we see a river that has a rich variety of native plant and animal species, we can expect a healthy thriving environment alongside it.
The Local Authority Waters Programme was established to protect and restore our rivers by working with communities and to investigate the causes of poor water quality. They work with a range of stakeholders including Local Authorities, the Environmental Protection Agency, Inland Fisheries Ireland, Irish Water, and many others. One of their key partners is the agricultural community including Teagasc and the dairy co-ops.