Signpost Seminar: Water quality - national problems, local solutions

Environmental Protection Agency, Ireland
Environmental Protection Agency, IrelandEnvironmental Protection Agency, Ireland
Water Quality
National problems, local solutions
47% rivers and 62%
estuaries
unsatisfactory.
Problems are
widespread
0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
2007 - 2009 River Water Bodies (n = 2160)
2010 - 2012 River Water Bodies (n = 2278)
2010 - 2015 River Water Bodies (n = 2345)
2013 - 2018 River Water Bodies (n=2355)
% number River water bodies
High Good Moderate Poor Bad
2013-2018
2010-2015
2010-2012
2007-2009
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
1987 - '901991 - '94 1995 - '97 1998 - '00 2001 - '03 2004 - '06 2007 - '092010 - '12 2013-'15 2016-'18
Percentage
Number
of
monitored
high
status
sites
High Status (Q4-5)
High Status Reference Condition (Q5)
1990 2018
High status waters in decline
Increase in Moderate and Poor
Water quality (ecological status) – condition and trends
Net improvement in
Priority Areas for
Action in 2018, and
2019 (River biology
only)
Acidification
Chemicals
Temperature
Hydrology
Morphology
Microbiology
Nutrients
Organic pollution
Other
Impacts to waters that are At Risk
Excess nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus)
are the most widespread problem
Poor status, Broadmeadow, Fingal.
Photo: W. Trodd
Key impacts
Nitrogen
Photo: LAWPRO
Lough Inchiquin, Co Clare.
Photo: B. Kennedy South coast
Photo: S. O’Boyle
Phosphorus
Chemicals
Drainage and
sediment
Photo: Irish Water
Significant pressures causing impacts – 3rd cycle
Note:
1603 waterbodies are
impacted (out of 4842)
Agriculture accounts
for the greatest number,
but is also the most
widespread landuse
Hydromorphology
pressures are
attributable to multiple
sectors
High risk for phosphorus loss
Poorly draining soils
Overland flow dominant
Weak relationship with intensity
Need to break the pathway
Lag time weeks to months
Key issue for rivers/lakes
High risk for nitrogen loss
Freely draining soils
Groundwater pathway dominant
Strong relationship with intensity
Needs source control
Lag time months to years
Key issue for estuaries/coastal
N and P behave very differently in the landscape
Mattock catchment, Co. Louth. Photo: J Deakin Nuenna catchment, Co. Kilkenny. Photo: J Deakin
1. Measures to reduce phosphorus (and sediment) loss
2. Measures to reduce nitrogen loss
‘The right measure in the right place’
‘Break the pathway’.
Co-benefits for biodiversity.
Targeting Agricultural Nutrient Measures
for Maximum Co-Benefits
‘Control losses at source’.
Co-benefits for climate and ammonia.
Mapping the highest risk
areas for Phosphorus
loss from diffuse
agriculture
The Phosphorus Pollution Impact
Potential map (PIP-P)
Model structure
Bedrock
Subsoils
Soils
Hydro(geo)logical
susceptibility
Agricultural
loading DAFM
(LPIS +
AIMs)
Delivery
paths
Delivery
pathways
Mockler, et al (2016); Mockler, et al (2017); Thomas et al (2016);
Delivery
points
Issue 1007 waterbodies (60% of waters needing
measures) are impacted by excess
phosphorus, fine sediment, and/or
chemical pollution from agriculture.
Targeting
Action
• Critical source area maps developed
(using DAFM data)
• Can pinpoint 2400 km of river bank
(<2%) that needs pathway interceptions
measures.
Co-Benefits Biodiversity and Water.
Measures for phosphorus Focussed flow delivery path
ASSAP programme are using these tools
Targeting measures for phosphorus:
Riparian/buffer zones, woodlands, engineered ditches, wetlands,
ponds. Co-benefits for biodiversity, sediment, pathogens
Photo: B Kennedy
Photo: R Little
Photo: Newcastle University
Photo: W. Trodd Photo: Allerton farm Photo: Woodlands Trust UK
Mapping the highest risk
areas for Nitrate
loss from diffuse
agriculture
The Nitrate Pollutant Impact Potential map (PIP-N)
Model structure
Landuse and Stocking
Input
Based on DAFM data
(LPIS, AIMs, Nitrates)
Farm Management and
Leaching Calculation
Based on Teagasc
models
Susceptibility Map
Based on GSI/EPA data
layers
Calculate Pathway
Attenuation and losses
to water (PIP-N)
Mockler, et al (2016); Mockler, et al (2017); Packham et al (2020)
Measures for Nitrate
Issue 535 waterbodies (32% of
waters needing measures) are
impacted by excess nitrate.
18 drinking water supplies are
impacted by nitrate and trends
are increasing elsewhere.
Targeting
Action
We have mapped 6900 km2
of
highest risk Critical Source
Areas, where nitrate losses
from farms are highest in
South and SE. Can now use
these to target nitrogen
reduction measures.
High risk of N loss Low risk of N loss
Timoleage, Cork Ballycanew,Wexford
Targeting measures for nitrogen:
Nutrient management planning, soil fertility, protected urea,
mixed swards, reduce application of chemical N, use of LESS.
Co-benefits for ammonia, green house gases
Photo: B Kennedy
Photo: R Little
Photo: Teagasc
Photo: Farmers Journal
Photo: Teagasc
Photo: Blackwaterfishery.com
A brisk tour of the Blackwater catchment, Co. Cork
Using the mapping tools on www.catchments.ie
Blackwater catchment boundary
Mitchelstown
Newmarket
Millstreet
Mallow Fermoy
Youghal
Waters quality – ecological status
Risk of not achieving water quality objectives
Waters that are impacted by agriculture that need restoration
Pollution impact potential - Phosphorus
Pollution Impact Potential - Nitrate
Actions needed?
P pathway
interception
measures.
Measures to
restore and
protect rivers
N source reduction
measures to restore
and protect drinking
water and the
estuary
N source reduction measures
to restore the estuary and
protect the river
Find out about the water quality and pressures in your local area
Visit www.catchments.ie
Click on ‘Maps’
Explore
Click on Status & Risk; and Pressures & Activities
Tips:
• Be patient, big files – watch the green progress bar along the top
• Clear the cookies and cache
• Speed will improve when you’ve loaded the maps once
• Watch for zoom control – don’t zoom in too far
Good status, Dalgan River, Co Mayo
Photo: B. Kennedy
Key messages
• We need to take action to improve water
quality
• Not all farms need the same actions
• We have the science and tools to better
target ‘the right measure in the right place’
• Need to join up the policy, messaging, actions
and supports
• Target measures with multiple benefits:
for water quality, air quality (ammonia),
biodiversity, climate, natural flood mitigation,
amenity, and health and well-being
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Signpost Seminar: Water quality - national problems, local solutions

  • 2. 47% rivers and 62% estuaries unsatisfactory. Problems are widespread 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% 2007 - 2009 River Water Bodies (n = 2160) 2010 - 2012 River Water Bodies (n = 2278) 2010 - 2015 River Water Bodies (n = 2345) 2013 - 2018 River Water Bodies (n=2355) % number River water bodies High Good Moderate Poor Bad 2013-2018 2010-2015 2010-2012 2007-2009 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 1987 - '901991 - '94 1995 - '97 1998 - '00 2001 - '03 2004 - '06 2007 - '092010 - '12 2013-'15 2016-'18 Percentage Number of monitored high status sites High Status (Q4-5) High Status Reference Condition (Q5) 1990 2018 High status waters in decline Increase in Moderate and Poor Water quality (ecological status) – condition and trends Net improvement in Priority Areas for Action in 2018, and 2019 (River biology only)
  • 3. Acidification Chemicals Temperature Hydrology Morphology Microbiology Nutrients Organic pollution Other Impacts to waters that are At Risk Excess nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) are the most widespread problem Poor status, Broadmeadow, Fingal. Photo: W. Trodd
  • 4. Key impacts Nitrogen Photo: LAWPRO Lough Inchiquin, Co Clare. Photo: B. Kennedy South coast Photo: S. O’Boyle Phosphorus Chemicals Drainage and sediment Photo: Irish Water
  • 5. Significant pressures causing impacts – 3rd cycle Note: 1603 waterbodies are impacted (out of 4842) Agriculture accounts for the greatest number, but is also the most widespread landuse Hydromorphology pressures are attributable to multiple sectors
  • 6. High risk for phosphorus loss Poorly draining soils Overland flow dominant Weak relationship with intensity Need to break the pathway Lag time weeks to months Key issue for rivers/lakes High risk for nitrogen loss Freely draining soils Groundwater pathway dominant Strong relationship with intensity Needs source control Lag time months to years Key issue for estuaries/coastal N and P behave very differently in the landscape Mattock catchment, Co. Louth. Photo: J Deakin Nuenna catchment, Co. Kilkenny. Photo: J Deakin
  • 7. 1. Measures to reduce phosphorus (and sediment) loss 2. Measures to reduce nitrogen loss ‘The right measure in the right place’ ‘Break the pathway’. Co-benefits for biodiversity. Targeting Agricultural Nutrient Measures for Maximum Co-Benefits ‘Control losses at source’. Co-benefits for climate and ammonia.
  • 8. Mapping the highest risk areas for Phosphorus loss from diffuse agriculture
  • 9. The Phosphorus Pollution Impact Potential map (PIP-P) Model structure Bedrock Subsoils Soils Hydro(geo)logical susceptibility Agricultural loading DAFM (LPIS + AIMs) Delivery paths Delivery pathways Mockler, et al (2016); Mockler, et al (2017); Thomas et al (2016); Delivery points
  • 10. Issue 1007 waterbodies (60% of waters needing measures) are impacted by excess phosphorus, fine sediment, and/or chemical pollution from agriculture. Targeting Action • Critical source area maps developed (using DAFM data) • Can pinpoint 2400 km of river bank (<2%) that needs pathway interceptions measures. Co-Benefits Biodiversity and Water. Measures for phosphorus Focussed flow delivery path ASSAP programme are using these tools
  • 11. Targeting measures for phosphorus: Riparian/buffer zones, woodlands, engineered ditches, wetlands, ponds. Co-benefits for biodiversity, sediment, pathogens Photo: B Kennedy Photo: R Little Photo: Newcastle University Photo: W. Trodd Photo: Allerton farm Photo: Woodlands Trust UK
  • 12. Mapping the highest risk areas for Nitrate loss from diffuse agriculture
  • 13. The Nitrate Pollutant Impact Potential map (PIP-N) Model structure Landuse and Stocking Input Based on DAFM data (LPIS, AIMs, Nitrates) Farm Management and Leaching Calculation Based on Teagasc models Susceptibility Map Based on GSI/EPA data layers Calculate Pathway Attenuation and losses to water (PIP-N) Mockler, et al (2016); Mockler, et al (2017); Packham et al (2020)
  • 14. Measures for Nitrate Issue 535 waterbodies (32% of waters needing measures) are impacted by excess nitrate. 18 drinking water supplies are impacted by nitrate and trends are increasing elsewhere. Targeting Action We have mapped 6900 km2 of highest risk Critical Source Areas, where nitrate losses from farms are highest in South and SE. Can now use these to target nitrogen reduction measures. High risk of N loss Low risk of N loss Timoleage, Cork Ballycanew,Wexford
  • 15. Targeting measures for nitrogen: Nutrient management planning, soil fertility, protected urea, mixed swards, reduce application of chemical N, use of LESS. Co-benefits for ammonia, green house gases Photo: B Kennedy Photo: R Little Photo: Teagasc Photo: Farmers Journal Photo: Teagasc
  • 16. Photo: Blackwaterfishery.com A brisk tour of the Blackwater catchment, Co. Cork Using the mapping tools on www.catchments.ie
  • 18. Waters quality – ecological status
  • 19. Risk of not achieving water quality objectives
  • 20. Waters that are impacted by agriculture that need restoration
  • 23. Actions needed? P pathway interception measures. Measures to restore and protect rivers N source reduction measures to restore and protect drinking water and the estuary N source reduction measures to restore the estuary and protect the river
  • 24. Find out about the water quality and pressures in your local area Visit www.catchments.ie Click on ‘Maps’ Explore Click on Status & Risk; and Pressures & Activities Tips: • Be patient, big files – watch the green progress bar along the top • Clear the cookies and cache • Speed will improve when you’ve loaded the maps once • Watch for zoom control – don’t zoom in too far
  • 25. Good status, Dalgan River, Co Mayo Photo: B. Kennedy Key messages • We need to take action to improve water quality • Not all farms need the same actions • We have the science and tools to better target ‘the right measure in the right place’ • Need to join up the policy, messaging, actions and supports • Target measures with multiple benefits: for water quality, air quality (ammonia), biodiversity, climate, natural flood mitigation, amenity, and health and well-being