Incorporation of Ecosystem Services Values in the Integrated Management of Irish Freshwater Resources

An ecosystem service is a direct or indirect contribution provided by nature that benefits humans and contributes to our well-being. Ecosystem services incorporate interacting ecological, social and economic processes and include things like clean drinking water, the amenity value of riverbank walks or the quality of angling along a channel. High-level policy decisions are important for sustainably managing water resources, as required by the EU Water Framework Directive.

Dipper on a stone in the Dodder River

The aim of the ESManage project was to build an understanding and appreciation for ecosystem services and how they might factor into future policy decisions. This project focused on three rivers, the Dodder, Moy and Suir, and modelled changes to the rivers' flow and input of pollutants associated with different land uses. Inland Fisheries Ireland collaborated on this multi-disciplinary EPA project led by researchers in University College Dublin, the EPA and Blue Island Consulting in Wales. See the official ESManage and follow-on ESDecide project. information.