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Water Quality in Northern Ireland

Agriculture

Water quality in Northern Ireland

Agricultural production is highly dependent on water however farming is also a major source of water pollution; fertiliser run-off, livestock effluents and pesticide use all contribute to the pollution of the rivers, lakes and groundwater of Northern Ireland.

The largest and most widespread water quality problem is nutrient enrichment arising from too much nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) entering the water environment. This can cause an undesirable disturbance to the water’s ecology; including excess plant growth and oxygen depletion known as eutrophication.

The Northern Ireland Water Framework Directive Statistics Report 2018 contains summary information on the status of rivers, lakes, and marine waters in Northern Ireland.