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24 May 2022

Kilkenny rivers under threat: What does it mean, what can be done?

People here are being asked for their views on what can be done to improve water quality in local rivers

Kilkenny

Work being carried out to remove barrels from a Kilkenny river

People in Kilkenny are being asked for their views on what can be done to improve water quality in local rivers - after recent reports show the effects of climate change are becoming more noticeable.

A public consultation on the Draft River Basin Management Plan is currently underway, and this is your chance to have a say.

Agencies responsible for protecting Ireland’s rivers have found that agriculture, forestry, and urban wastewater treatment are the leading causes of pollution in our rivers, lakes, estuaries, and coastal waters.

“There’s a big effort involving a lot of organisations trying to pinpoint what’s happening in our rivers. We need local people to help us get a better understanding”, says Ann Phelan, of the Local Authority Waters Programme, also known as LAWPRO.

“We live in unprecedented times. The effects of climate change and loss of biodiversity are clear, and this will have knock-on effects for our health and well-being. This is especially true with water quality in our rivers.”

LAWPRO works with the 31 local authorities in Ireland, assessing the condition and health of our rivers. While some rivers have improved, unfortunately half the rivers and lakes in Ireland are failing to meet good water quality standards. “We need urgent action to stop the decline, reverse the damage, and protect these vital natural resources”, she says.

Readers of this newspaper are asked to register and attend one of two consultation meetings online on Tuesday, February 22 and Thursday, February 24. These meetings will provide vital information on the Draft River Basin Management Plan for Ireland 2022-2027, a questions and answers session, and a discussion on local issues.

“This is your chance to have your say and put forward your views on what needs to be done to help the rivers of County Kilkenny.

Register for your local meeting at www.lawaters.ie or via Facebook @LAWPROteam. You can contact LAWPRO’s Head office at 052 616 6230. Further details about the meetings will be published next week.

For information on the Draft River Basin Management plan 2022 -2027 visit the virtual consultation room at LAwaters.ie.

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