Friday, December 18, 2009

Ireland facing river pollution problem

Ireland, famous as the green island, looks to be anything but green when talking about the river pollution problem. The latest studies have shown that pollution levels in rivers and streams in Ireland have hugely increased in the last two decades, mostly as a result of increased housing development and intensive agriculture and forestry. Mostly affected are north-western regions.

The major new study has also revealed that water quality of many wells and springs have also significantly declined mostly due to contamination by animal and human faeces, and this water is the source of quarter of drinking water supplies in Ireland.

According to these latest studies water quality in Ireland 2007- 2008 data shows the percentage of rivers considered to be largely pollution-free rivers – has decreased to 17 percent in 2006-2008, down from 30 percent in the period 1987-1990, with the largest numbers of pollution-free sites in less densely populated and less intensively farmed parts of the country, mostly in the southwest and west.

Forestry, agriculture and housing are major factors for lower water quality as these factors have dramatically reduced water quality by different nutrient inputs, siltation and acidification.

Dr Jim Bowman, programme manager of the aquatic environment programme at the EPA said that "the dramatic decline in the number of high ecological quality river sites during the past 20 years, largely due to low-level enrichment and siltation in upland areas, is unacceptable and will have to be addressed, and it would be a huge challenge to protect the remaining high-quality sites and restore those that had degraded."

As you can see river pollution is not just problem in India and China like some think it is.

Rivers in Ireland are also facing pollution problem.

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