Catchment News

Surface Water Groundwater Interaction (2008)

| in
Surface Water Groundwater Interaction (2008)

Total Files9
Size21.17 MB
Create Date29th August 2008
Last Updated

The management of water resources in Ireland prior to the Water Framework Directive (WFD) has focussed on surface water and groundwater as separate entities. A critical
element to the successful implementation of the WFD is to improve our understanding of the interaction between the two and flow mechanisms by which groundwaters discharge to surface waters. An improved understanding of the contribution of groundwater to surface water is required for the classification of groundwater body status and the
determination of groundwater quality thresholds.

The overall aim of this study is to estimate the contribution of groundwater to surface waters, particularly river flows. The results will be used to assist in determining the
groundwater quality thresholds for chemical parameters that are linked to surface water body EQS requirements. The annual average groundwater flow component will be used
in this case.

The results also have a wider application to/in many areas of the WFD. In particular, it will assist in:

  1. the prediction of the impact on rivers and lakes from groundwater abstraction;
  2. further characterisation of catchment hydrology: results from this study will contribute to studies estimating low flow conditions in ungauged catchments;
  3. an improved understanding of groundwater flow in poorly productive bedrock aquifers.

This is a difficult study to undertake in an Irish context because the physical settings can be very complex. In many surface water catchments, the groundwater flow regime is
heterogeneous, and the aquifers underlying the catchment often comprise a mixture of types. Further, the rainfall is highly variable across the country: the west typically has
higher rainfall amounts and more frequent rainfall events than the east of Ireland. Some catchments in the west may have previously experienced few drought conditions, so it
can be difficult to identify the component of groundwater flow from the bedrock aquifer in a surface water hydrograph.

SWGW Interaction POMS - Sections 4 and 5.pdf  Download  
SWGW Interaction POMS - Section 3.pdf  Download  
SWGW Interaction POMS - Section 2.pdf  Download  
SWGW Interaction POMS - Section 1.pdf  Download  
SWGW Interaction POMS - Appendix 7B.pdf  Download  
SWGW Interaction POMS - Appendix 7A.pdf  Download  
SWGW Interaction POMS - Appendices 8 and 9.pdf  Download  
SWGW Interaction POMS - Appendices 4 to 6.pdf  Download  
SWGW Interaction POMS - Appendices 1 to 3.pdf  Download  


Who is involved?

Quite simply, everyone in Ireland has a role to play. This can be from something as simple as making sure you don’t pollute your local stream, or a local community working together to establish a Rivers Trust to enhance the rivers and lakes in their area, to a Government Department or Agency helping a Minister implement a new policy to help protect and enhance all our water bodies.

This website has been developed and is maintained by the Environmental Protection Agency, and is a collaboration between the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Local Authority Waters Programme.


Local Authority Waters Programme

The Local Authority Waters Programme coordinates the efforts of local authorities and other public bodies in the implementation of the River Basin Management Plan, and supports local community and stakeholder involvement in managing our natural waters, for everyone’s benefit.


Environmental Protection Agency

The EPA is responsible for coordinating the monitoring, assessment and reporting on the status of our 4,842 water bodies, looking at trends and changes, determining which waterbodies are at risk and what could be causing this, and drafting environmental objectives for each.


Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage

The Department is responsible for making sure that the right policies, regulations and resources are in place to implement the Water Framework Directive, and developing a River Basin Management Plan and Programme of Measures to protect and restore our waters.