Catchment News

Science Week with An Foram Uisce: The magic of water

For this year’s Science Week, An Fóram Uisce has collaborated with academics and experts to prepare 3 short videos on The Magic of Water – the physical, chemical and ecological properties of water and what these tell us about our environment.

The theme of this year’s Science Week is Choosing our Future, exploring how science can help us make positive choices that will impact on the environment, our health and our quality of life.

In Phenomenal physics and Curious chemistry,  Padraic Creedon and Professor John Stephens use simple experiments and illustrations to explore the different physical and chemical properties of water such as density, salinity (how salty the water is) and pH (the water’s acidity).  Water’s actions and reactions are tried and tested with very colourful results.

In Ecological wonder Dr Suzanne Linnane and Dr Caroline Gilleran Stephens investigate river habitats to see what lives among the stones below the surface of the water and they identify the small animals (invertebrates) that can indicate good water quality.

We learn how important it is to help protect our waters, which are a treasure for us all to enjoy.

Magic of Water: Phenomenal physics – Padraic Creedon from Galway Atlantaquaria introduces the 3 different states of water (ice, water, vapour). He creates a coloured display to illustrate the different density of freshwater and saltwater and explores how the density of water is impacted by temperature changes.
Magic of Water: Curious chemistry of water – Professor John Stephens from Maynooth University introduces the chemical structure and the chemistry of water using everyday household products and colourful reactions. He demonstrates a simple technique to generate hydrogen and oxygen gases from a salt water solution, explains waters ability to dissolve substances and pollutants, as well as discussing ocean and rain acidification by exploring the formation and reaction of acidic & basic water solutions.
Magic of Water: Ecological wonder of water – Dr Suzanne Linnane and Dr Caroline Gilleran Stephens from the Centre for Freshwater and Environmental Studies at Dundalk Institute of Technology explore the watery habitats of a local river. They sample the river bed to find out what is living there and identify bugs that determine the water quality. They also give us all advice on how to become a H2O Hero.

Learn more:

An Fóram Uisce is a statutory body, established in June 2018, to provide a platform for public engagement on all matters relating to water as an environmental, social and economic resource. An Fóram provides an opportunity for stakeholders to debate and analyse a range of issues with regard to water quality, rural water concerns, issues affecting customers of Irish Water and the implementation of the Water Framework Directive and the River Basin Management Plan for Ireland 2018-2021.

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 4,829 water bodies, looking at trends and changes, determining which waterbodies are at risk and what could be causing this, and drafting environmental objectives and measures 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 that will be implemented after public consultation and sign off by the Minister.