Just 1/3 of rivers ‘good quality’

Posted By: March 23, 2016

Suzanne McGonagle. Irish News (Belfast). Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Just a third of Northern Ireland were classified as high or good quality last year

ONLY one third of rivers in Northern Ireland are of “good quality”.

Statistics released by the Department of Environment also show that just five of the 21 lakes monitored achieved the mark last year.

The details are included in the DoE’s latest Environmental Statistics Report which examined areas ranging from biodiversity to waste management.

It states that river monitoring is carried out routinely against UK standards, including measures of acidity or alkalinity and ammonia, to assign quality in one of five classes from high through to bad.

Results showed that in 2015, just 32.7 per cent of Northern Ireland river waterbodies were “classified as high or good quality”.

The report also found that public concern for the environment has fallen.

In 2008/09, the level of those very or fairly concerned stood at 82 per cent of those surveyed,

compared with 70 per cent in 2014/15.

The total amount of council-collected waste fell by around one tenth between 2005/06 and 2014/15, while less than half (43 per cent) of all municipal waste was sent to landfill in the last year.

However, illegal dumping of waste is the biggest environmental concern for households in Northern Ireland.

Other statistics in the report show that there had been a “modest” increase in the number of listed buildings in the north.

There were 8,702 listed building in 2014/15, compared with 8,191 in 2003/04.

Suzanne McGonagle