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Northern Ireland Environment Link Logo
 

News

 

Events

 

Jan 2018 right left

New Year’s Day Winter Walk

Monday 1st January
Mount Stewart
Adult £10, Child £5

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Historic Garden Restoration

Sunday 7th January
Gilford Castle, Gilford Village, Co Armagh
Free

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Have a go: Hedge laying

Saturday 20th January
Mount Stewart
No Charge, Donations Welcome

Meadow Management

Sunday 21st January
Balloo Wetland & Woodland, Bangor
Free

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Action Renewables Energy Association (AREA) – The Opportunities in Energy Storage

Tuesday 23rd January
The Doyen, 829 Lisburn Road, Belfast BT9 7GY
£66

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Griddle Baking

Saturday 27th January
Rowallane Garden
Normal Admission, Members Free

Get Stuck In at Murlough

Sunday 28th January
Murlough NNR
No Charge, Donations Welcome

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Freshwater

Water is an essential natural resource that plays a vital role in maintaining biodiversity, our health and well–being and economic development. Sustainable water management delivers water quality, flood abatement, climate change mitigation, landscape and wildlife and provides valuable recreational and aesthetic benefits to residents and visitors to Northern Ireland.

Freshwater

The EU Water Framework Directive (WFD), through river basin management planning, establishes an integrated and holistic approach to sustainable water use, balancing social and economic factors with the need to protect and improve our water environment. Progress with the delivery of river basin management plans in Northern Ireland is fundamental; currently 70% of our water bodies fail to reach good ecological status which, if not addressed, will lead to significant financial and environmental costs in the future. 

NIEL provides a secretariat service to the Freshwater Task Force which represents a range of organisations working together to ensure that Northern Ireland protects and improves freshwater ecosystems, actively promotes the sustainable management of our freshwater resources and fully implements the Water Framework Directive.

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Currently less than 30% of our water bodies are of sufficient quality to meet the requirements of The European Water Framework Directive.

The Northern Ireland River Basin Management Plans report that only 21% of water dependent protected areas are in favourable status and 11% have not been assessed.

It is estimated that there are some 120,000 septic tanks in Northern Ireland. While a properly installed and maintained septic tank system is not likely to have any adverse impact on the environment, it is estimated that at least 12,000 septic tanks are not in possession of necessary discharge consents.

Northern Ireland Water supplies 619 million litres of water every day and treats 134 million m³ of wastewater each year. On average we each use approximately 150 litres a day with about 95% of the water delivered to our homes going down the drain.

We already use 70% more water today than we did 40 years ago.

River monitoring is carried out routinely against national standards for the Water Framework Directive (WFD). Almost one quarter (23%) of monitored river waterbodies were of at least a ‘good’ standard in 2011, compared to 22% in 2010.

There are 21 lake waterbodies in Northern Ireland, that is lakes with an area of greater than 50 hectares. In 2011, as in 2010, five of the 21 lake waterbodies in Northern Ireland were classified as ‘good’, while 16 lake waterbodies were classified as ‘moderate’, ‘poor’ or ‘bad’.

Compliance for private sewage was 78% in 2011 compared to 88% in 2010. For trade effluent compliance there has been a steady increase from 76% in 2001 to 91% in 2011.

In 2011, 19% of all substantiated water pollution incidents in Northern Ireland were considered to be of ‘High’ or ‘Medium’ severity; the same as the 2010 level.