The River Nore and its tributaries in County Laois are the setting for DCU Water Institute’s latest citizen science water quality project – Centennial. The Nore (pictured above at Tallyho Bridge near Durrow, courtesy of Richard White) is being sampled at over 30 locations across the county by dedicated volunteers checking for nitrates, phosphates and turbidity. The volunteers are also carrying out a range of river observations which will help establish the health of the Nore along its upper catchment in Laois. The Centennial project which commenced in March is taking place in partnership with Nore River Catchment Trust and will continue until September, with monthly sampling at each volunteer’s preferred location.
As the project progresses there may be seasonal changes in the data received and in the observations contributed by the citizen scientists, which will add to the body of knowledge being gathered. Water sampling is occurring along the Nore itself and at twelve of its tributaries so that a catchment-wide picture can emerge of the water quality. The citizen scientists involved in the project have been trained by the Water Institute, and when asked in an initial survey why they were taking part and what they hoped to gain from the project, many cited wanting to learn more about water quality, especially in their local waterway for the benefit of their communities and local environment. This exemplifies the importance of the work being carried out by groups such as Nore River Catchment Trust who are raising awareness of water quality through educational citizen science events and community leadership.
This project 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.