DCU Water Institute & Nore River Catchment Trust Working together to improve water quality with Citizen Science

Dublin City University’s Water Institute and the Nore River Catchment Trust are delighted to announce an upcoming citizen science partnership empowering citizens to take part and collect data in a programme of water quality testing on the River Nore and its tributaries.

The Nore River Catchment Trust (NRCT) is an dynamic community group working on a large catchment covering much of County Kilkenny, the southern half of Laois, and also parts of Tipperary and Carlow. The Trust has an extensive team behind it with a range of skills, and has consulted widely with local communities in the catchment to determine their requirements. They subsequently created a vision of a healthy and vibrant river catchment based on education, training, recreation, and collaborative actions identified by the community.

Mags Morrisey, coordinator at NRCT says “We are delighted to be working with DCU on this exciting project.  It compliments very nicely with the water quality training that has been carried out over the last few years as part of Nore Vision.  Our training to date has focused on the presence or absence of indicator species as a means of measuring water quality so it’s great to add another element and understanding to the mix. It really is a symbiosis as communities will gain from the knowledge, but they will also contribute to the scientific project through their actions and get an overall understanding of our rivers and their water quality”.

The Water Institute along with NRCT is inviting interest from any local clubs or groups who would like to become citizen scientists within the catchment to test their local river or stream on a monthly basis for nitrates and phosphates, and much more.  We are particularly interested in hearing from people around the Abbeyleix / Durrow / Ballacolla / Rathdowney area of Laois. Training will be provided to participants on how to test the water, then upload the data they have collected to an app. This will feed back results to the organisers to give a snapshot of the water quality in the area.

Regular updates and reports will be provided throughout the project to give a clear picture of the health of the waterways within the Nore catchment that will empower the Nore River Catchment Trust to continue their incredible work.

Dr. Susan Hegarty, academic lead on the project says “we welcome the opportunity to work with the Nore Catchment Trust, and with the local community, including the farmers whose livelihood depends on this landscape. Together, we will monitor the quality of streams and rivers in the Nore catchment, to understand drivers on water quality and to prevent a deterioration of our environment.

This partnership is supported by the DCU Educational Trust through the GLAS Communities Fund created by Rethink Ireland in partnership with Ornua Co-operative Limited and the Department of Rural and Community Development via the Dormant Accounts Fund.

For more information or if you would like to get involved please contact us at waterinstitute@dcu.ie

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