The general state of hydrology in Ireland has recently been reported on by the National Committee for the International Hydrological Decade. They pointed out that there are many deficiencies in our knowledge of surface and ground water resources and that the important problem of water supply management has been entirely neglected.
No organization has any kind of general hydrological responsibility in Ireland. With virtually no funds or statutory authority the enlightened IHD Committee appears condemned to frustration, being able to achieve little beyond recommendations. Its present role is at best advisory, and there are doubts as to how seriously its suggestions are taken. Surface water, precipitation and evaporation measurements are carried out by various State or Semi-State bodies, including the Office of Public Works, the Electricity Supply Board and the Meteorological Office. With the exception of meteorological data abundant raw data is available, but it is not in a convenient form for retrieval for public use. Nor is staff available to extract the information on file, an intolerable if understandable situation. No systematic observations have been made of ground water in Ireland and no one has been charged with the responsiblity of collecting and processing data, despite the recommendations of the IHD Committee that a Ground Water Division should be established within the Geological Survey. In fact, the Survey has for many years operated a valuable skeleton advisory service on ground water, receiving and distributing information on underground water supplies; but it has never been instructed to do so and