Catchment News

IAH Conference 2020: Characterisation and management of groundwater in limestones

The International Association of Hydrogeologists (Irish Group) held its annual conference in October this year. The theme of this year’s conference was ‘Characterisation and management of groundwater in limestones’ and all talks are now on YouTube.

Limestones are the dominant rock type in Ireland, comprising about 50% of the island. The focus of the conference this year is not only on the pure limestones (which are usually associated with karstification), but also the impure limestones (such as the “Calp”).

The distribution of carbonate rocks in Ireland (distribution based on all-island Rock Unit Groups map) Source: Irish Limestone Aquifers presentation by Natalya Hunter Williams, Caoimhe Hickey, GSI.

Given its prominence in the Irish landscape, limestone interacts with all aspects of hydrogeology. The conference sessions aim to provide insights into these important interactions such as those involving water resources management, contamination, ecology and surface water, as well as practical characterisation and investigation techniques in limestone.

The first session is an overview of Irish limestone aquifers and their natural capital. The theme of the second session is regional groundwater management.

All the presentations from the conference are now available on YouTube.

Learn more:

2020 Conference Proceedings

IAH (Irish Group) website

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.