Groundwater is the main source of water for over 300 Group Water Schemes around Ireland.
This project forms a fundamental element in catchment management by mapping the catchment to the source; conducting a risk assessment of the wellhead and the catchment; assessing pumping regime/demand; providing advice on wellhead improvements, including disinfection operation; and on activities/hazards in the catchment.
It makes sense to know where our water is coming from, particularly water for human consumption. The project seeks to establish an understanding of the:
- pathways between rain falling on the ground and the spring/borehole,
- the susceptibility to pollution,
- the sustainability (the link between recharge and long term abstraction/flow),
- hydrochemistry and groundwater quality,
- the link between land use activities and water quality.
The work assists the GWSs with their duties and obligations; demand management; focus strategies/improvements at wellhead protection and at a catchment and sub-catchment scale; in providing information and advice to GWS members and people in the catchment; and highlights critical areas in the catchment.
The maps provide areas that are used to protect our groundwater resources, ensuring their sustainability and maintaining good quality water that is important not only for drinking water but the for provision of groundwater to our rivers and ecosystems, critical in maintaining and providing a healthy environment.