16th July

National groundwater protection map identifies hotspots

A comprehensive groundwater mapping project has produced a national 'vulnerability' map to help protect vital water supplies. The map identifies areas most at risk from pollution or contamination and conversely those areas safest to develop wells and water supplies.

These and other findings from the Geological Survey of Ireland's (GSI) multiannual programme were announced today at Geoscience 2013 conference.

Map shows groundwater vulnerability where water supply needs most protectionSpeaking at Dublin Castle, Fergus O'Dowd, minister for natural resources, commended the "world-class" science and the many inter-agency partnerships that underpinned the projects. 

"I am delighted at the new mapping and datasets available, particularly with how they will assist planning and development of our natural resources - information that could have significant positive impacts for the regional economy."

The first digital map focuses on ground and drink water supplies for use by local authorities, the EPA, consultants and individuals "to better understand and manage land use and development that have the potential to impact on groundwater," Minister O'Dowd added.

Five geologists were employed to record information along more than 40,000 km of road, covering in excess of 50,000km2 to complete the project.

Geoscience Initiative projects can be viewed at www.gsi.ie

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