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Progress is being made on the development of a monitoring programme for water quality in Waters of LIFE demonstration catchments.

Initiated in November 2023, the RESTORE project will detect change and assess the effectiveness of measures to protect and restore high status objective water bodies.

The decline of Ireland’s most pristine waters since the late 1980s has led to the need for a bespoke programme that goes beyond routine monitoring on an annual basis.

The project will build on current state-of-the-art approaches to look at biological factors such as fish, insects and water-based plants. Phosphates and nitrates will be considered in addition to the flow, form and function of the waterbodies themselves.

Click Here To Learn More About The EPA Restore Project on the Inland Fisheries Ireland Website.

The RESTORE project is funded by the Environmental Protection Agency Research Programme 2021–2030 and features a leadership team of:

Dr Fiona Kelly, Inland Fisheries Ireland;

Professor Mary Kelly-Quinn, UCD School of Biology and Environmental Science;

Dr Jonathan Turner, UCD School of Geography;

Associate Professor John O’Sullivan, UCD School of Civil Engineering;

Dr Md Salauddin, UCD School of Civil Engineering.

Milestones for the project in 2024 include a literature review and the collection of data across monitored catchments.

There will be ongoing knowledge transfer to the Waters of LIFE project team while a baseline is established and preliminary data gaps are filled.

The multi-year programme will be customised for each demonstration catchment while still informing the rollout of a wider programme for high status objective waterbodies.

The development of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will ultimately feed into measures of effectiveness under the Waters of LIFE project’s agri-scheme.

To raise awareness and keep stakeholders up to date, regular project blogs will be published in addition to a series of workshops, open-access peer-reviewed journal papers and twice-yearly newsletters.

More information about the project will feature on in the coming months.