NATO Science Series Volume 80, 2008, pp 171-177

Eutrophication in the Blackwater River Catchment, Ireland

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The Ulster Blackwater River has a cross-border catchment and is one of the major inflowing rivers of Lough Neagh. It is a traditional salmon fishery that has been impacted by channelisation and eutrophication. There is evidence linking agricultural soils as sources of acute mass phosphorus transfer to the river system during storm events and chronic phosphorus transfers from other sources compound this during non-storm periods. Management of this particular impact is being demonstrated in a project in three 5km2 sub-catchments of the Blackwater River. The aims are to define and mitigate against both acute and chronic phosphorus transfers and to focus this management within a landscape framework. This work integrates agricultural stakeholders with scientists and a tripartite organization of local jurisdictions.

Keywords: eutrophication; phosphorus; catchments