Major Decline In Tipperary River Water Quality.

A Local Authority Waters Programme (LAWPRO) representative has informed Nenagh Municipal District councillors, last week, of a major decline in the water quality of Tipperary’s rivers and streams.

Ms Catherine Seale-Duggan the newly appointed Community Water Officer with LAWPRO has warned that the quality of watercourses in Co. Tipperary has dropped substantially and worryingly over the past 10 years.

State of River Suir just 100 meters from Barry’s bridge in Thurles Town centre.
Pic: G. Willoughby, 2019.

Ms Seale-Duggan confirmed that only 1/3 of rivers in Tipperary were in the category of “Good and High Status”, whereas ten years previously almost 2/3 of the counties rivers fell into that same stated category. She stated that the Nenagh River (Irish: An Ghaothach) which rises in the Silvermine Mountains in Co.Tipperary, and flows east of Nenagh into Lough Derg, north of Dromineer village, falls into the “Moderate Status” category.

River Suir at Barry’s Bridge, Thurles town centre.
Pic: G. Willoughby, 2021.

“What we are aiming for in the case of every river and stream,is the Good and High Status”, Ms Seale-Duggan stated, “We are targeting those areas where the water quality is adversely impacted, and agriculture is part of that concern and focus. Inspectors will visit farms and look at opportunities to stop pollutants getting into rivers and streams”.

This work will now be heavily subsidised through a €60 million project and advisers from Dairy Co-ops will be engaging directly with farmers. Alas, the farming community will continue in the mindset of “I have rights” and no indigenous mindset showing that “I have obligations” in serving present and future generations, not to mention the health of the very planet itself.
Water European Innovation Partnership (EIP) is also working to reduce the loss of nutrients in farms and to prevent nutrients from these same areas, gaining access to watercourses and polluting them.
According to ICBF data, accurate up to June 1, 2023 the county with the second-largest dairy herd is Co. Tipperary with 194,018 cows, which is an increase of 59,259 head, since 2013. (Largest is Co. Cork).
There is a difference of 69,544 head of cattle, between Co. Tipperary and Co Kilkenny, latter in third place on ICBP’s list.

Thurles.Info has continuously, over the past eleven years, raised this same issue (first on November 7th, 2013, in relation to the River Suir).

We hope that Ms Catherine Seale-Duggan, the newly appointed Community Water Officer with LAWPRO, has better success with Municipal District officials than we had.


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