Northern Ireland Water Framework Directive Statistics 2018 released

Date published: 26 September 2018

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) today published the Northern Ireland Water Framework Directive Statistics 2018 Update.

DARD statistics

This 2018 statistical report is an update to statistics published in 2015. The report contains summary information on the status of rivers, lakes, and marine waters for the three River Basin Districts in Northern Ireland.

The key points are:

  • River status: In 2018, 31.3% of 450 river water bodies were classified as 'high' or 'good' quality, compared to 32.7% in 2015.
  • Lake status: In 2018, five of the 21 lake water bodies in Northern Ireland were classified as 'good' status and 16 lake water bodies were classified as less than 'good’ status. This is the same as 2015 classification.
  • Marine status: In 2018, 10 of 25 transitional and coastal water bodies were classified at ‘high’ or ‘good’ status and the remaining 15 at ‘moderate or worse’ status. This compares to nine classified at ‘high’ or ‘good’ status in 2015.

Download the statistical report containing more detail from the DAERA website.

Notes to editors: 

  1. 2018 is the midpoint of the implementation of Water Framework Directive Second Cycle River Basin Management Plans 2015-2021. These are the official statistics for 2018, and update the position from the start of the cycle in 2015. These statistics were last updated in the Northern Ireland Environmental Statistics report in 2016.
  2. The figures are based on monitoring and assessment carried out by Environment, Marine and Fisheries group of DAERA in line with the Water Framework Directive (Classification, Priority Substances and Shellfish Waters) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015.
  3. There are three indicators included within the WFD Statistics report, each based on the number or percentage of reporting units (‘water bodies’) in each status class, as required by WFD. For surface waters (rivers, lakes and marine waters), status is assessed against five classes: ‘bad’, ‘poor’, ‘moderate’, ‘good’ and ‘high’.
  4. Groundwater WFD status is not regularly reported due to the complexity of assessment required and the slow response times in groundwater to any changes that occur, which may take many years. The next update to groundwater status will be published in 2021.
  5. The report is being published as a precursor to the preparation of an interim report to the European Commission on the Programme of Measures as set out in second cycle River Basin Management Plans. These plans have been prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Water Framework Directive (WFD).
  6. The department may take photographs and videos at announcements and events to publicise its work. Photographs, interviews, videos or other recordings may be issued to media organisations for publicity purposes or used in promotional material, including in publications, newspapers, magazines, other print media, on television, radio and electronic media (including social media and the internet). Photographs and videos will also be stored on the department’s internal records management system. The department will keep the photographs and recordings for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which they have been obtained. The department’s Privacy Policy is available on our website.
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  8. All media queries should be directed to the DAERA Press Office on 028 9052 4619 or via email. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 028 9037 8110.

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