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Groundwater protection in a Celtic region: the Irish example

By
Bruce D. Misstear
Bruce D. Misstear
Department of Civil, Structural & Environmental Engineering, University of Dublin, Trinity College, Dublin 2, Ireland (e-mail: bmisster@tcd.ie)
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Donal Daly
Donal Daly
Groundwater Section, Geological Survey of Ireland, Beggars Bush, Haddington Road, Dublin 4, Ireland
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Published:
January 01, 2000

Abstract

One of the key environmental objectives of the proposed EU Water Framework Directive is that Member States must prevent the deterioration of groundwater quality. A national groundwater protection scheme for Ireland has been published recently. This scheme shows certain broad similarities to the groundwater protection policy for England and Wales, incorporating the concepts of groundwater vulnerability, source protection zones and responses to potentially polluting activities. However, the Irish scheme is different in several important respects, reflecting the different hydrogeological conditions and pollution concerns in Ireland. Some of these hydrogeological conditions and pollution concerns are common to the other Celtic regions. A major feature of the irish scheme is the importance given to subsoil permeability in defining groundwater vulnerability. At present, the subsoil permeability is classified in qualitative terms as high, moderate or low. For the protection scheme to be defensible, it is essential to adopt a systematic and consistent approach for assigning subsoil units to these permeability categories. In mapping groundwater vulnerability, it is also useful to take account of secondary indicators such as groundwater recharge potential, natural and artificial drainage density and vegetation characteristics. Another important issue in Ireland is the protection of groundwater in karst areas, since these areas are especially vulnerable to contamination.

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Groundwater in the Celtic Regions: Studies in Hard Rock and Quaternary Hydrogeology

N. S. Robins
N. S. Robins
British Geological Survey, Wallingford, UK
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B. D. R. Misstear
B. D. R. Misstear
University of Dublin, Trinity College, Ireland
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Geological Society of London
Volume
182
ISBN electronic:
9781862394308
Publication date:
January 01, 2000

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