Home News Community Citizen science project aimed at improving water quality in Laois launched

Citizen science project aimed at improving water quality in Laois launched

River Nore (2)

A citizen science partnership empowering citizens to take part and collect data in a programme of water quality testing on the River Nore and its tributaries is to commence.

DCU’s Water Institute and the Nore River Catchment Trust are involved in the project which will take place in parts of South Laois.

The Nore River Catchment Trust (NRCT) is an dynamic community group working on a large catchment covering much of Kilkenny, the southern half of Laois and also parts of Tipperary and Carlow.

The Trust has an extensive team behind it with a range of skills, and has consulted widely with local communities in the catchment to determine their requirements.

They subsequently created a vision of a healthy and vibrant river catchment based on education, training, recreation, and collaborative actions identified by the community.

Anna Hayes, Citizen Science officer with Dublin City University’s Water Institute, is from Killeen in Laois.

She explained how parts of the Nore in Mountrath, Castletown, Camross, Borris-In-Ossory, Rathdowney, Ballacolla, Abbeyleix and Ballyroan will be examined.

A spokesperson said: “The Water Institute along with NRCT is inviting interest from any local clubs or groups who would like to become citizen scientists within the catchment to test their local river or stream on a monthly basis for nitrates and phosphates, and much more.

“We are particularly interested in hearing from people around the Abbeyleix, Durrow, Ballacolla and Rathdowney areas of Laois.

“Training will be provided to participants on how to test the water, then upload the data they have collected to an app.

“This will feed back results to the organisers to give a snapshot of the water quality in the area.

“Regular updates and reports will be provided throughout the project to give a clear picture of the health of the waterways within the Nore catchment that will empower the Nore River Catchment Trust to continue their incredible work.

“For more information or if you would like to get involved please contact us at waterinstitute@dcu.ie”

Mags Morrisey, coordinator at NRCT said: “We are delighted to be working with DCU on this exciting project.

“It compliments very nicely with the water quality training that has been carried out over the last few years as part of Nore Vision.

“Our training to date has focused on the presence or absence of indicator species as a means of measuring water quality so it’s great to add another element and understanding to the mix.

“It really is a symbiosis as communities will gain from the knowledge, but they will also contribute to the scientific project through their actions and get an overall understanding of our rivers and their water quality.”

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.