Water Quality in Ireland is continually monitored by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Local Authorities, the Marine Institute, Waterways Ireland and many others, in order to better understand the ecological health of Ireland’s rivers, lakes, canals, groundwaters, estuaries and coastal waters. Standards and objectives are set out in the EU Water Framework Directive and also at national level in the River Basin Management Plan for Ireland 2018 – 2021.

According to the latest assessment of biological and environmental data collected over the period 2013 to 2018 by the EPA, 52.8% of our surface waters are in satisfactory ecological health as they are achieving either good or high ecological status. The remaining 47.2% are in moderate, poor or bad ecological status. This represents a decline of 2.6% when compared with the 2010 to 2015 assessment period.

The assessment also showed the continuing decline in our high status surface waters. High status surface waters decreased from 12.9% in 2007 – 2009 (the first WFD baseline assessment) to 8.5% in 2013 – 2018. The number of poor status waters is also increasing from 14.8% in 2007 – 2009 to 17.9% in 2013 – 2018.

For more detailed water quality information at a national scale, catchment scale, subcatchment scale and Local Authority scale, please click here. Information is provided on water quality status, risk, pressures and objectives. Trends from water quality assessments over a number of monitoring cycles can also be viewed, including for our high status waters.

For more information please see Water Quality in Ireland Report 2013 – 2018 on Catchments.ie.

For information on how we monitor and assess the health of our waters please see here.