Catchment News

Inside the EPA – Episode 1: Hydrometric and Groundwater Unit

“Inside the EPA” is a new series that shows a day in the life of our talented EPA staff as they carry out their environmental protection roles across Ireland. In this first episode, we follow the Hydrometric and Groundwater Unit in their mission to measure and monitor Ireland’s water levels and flows.

The EPA monitors river flows and the water levels of our rivers, lakes and groundwater (wells and springs). It does this by operating a hydrometric network of over 350 surface water and groundwater monitoring stations in the Republic of Ireland, as part of the National Hydrometric Programme

Inside the EPA – Episode 1: Hydrometric and Groundwater Unit

The collected data can be viewed in our monthly national hydrology bulletins, which provide a factual summary of river flows, lake levels, turlough and groundwater levels for the previous month, and on our HydroNet portal.

Other bodies also monitor water levels and flow: 

  • Office of Public Works (OPW) measures river flows and river and lake water levels in relation to flood management and protection. Further information is available from the OPW on the flood risk management plans and the activities of the Shannon catchment flood risk management group
  • Waterways Ireland monitors and manages the water levels and flows in our canals.  
  • ESB monitors and manages the water levels and flows associated with our hydroelectric dams. 
  • Marine Institute monitors sea-level fluctuations around our coasts.  

Long-term water level monitoring is also undertaken by institutions such as the Geological Survey of Ireland and Irish Water. It may be carried out in relation to specific activities (e.g. by industry in relation to licence conditions) or for research (e.g. by the agricultural research institute Teagasc). 

Learn more:

Take a look at our Hydrology Summary Bulletins here:–assessment/freshwater–marine/hydrology-bulletin/

Access the HydroNet data portal:

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.