Groundwater is a major natural resource in the Republic of Ireland providing between 20% and 25% of drinking water supplies. In certain counties the proportion is much greater - over 50%. In rural areas not served by public or group water schemes, groundwater is usually the only source of supply - at least 100,000 wells and springs are in use. With such a large proportion of the country relying on groundwater it is imperative that this resource be protected. This can be achieved through appropriate land use planning and practice. The Groundwater Programme of GSI aims to assist in this process by:
- Advising government departments & agencies on groundwater issues
- Preparing county Groundwater Protection Schemes, including mapping aquifer potential and groundwater vulnerability. For details of Protection schemes completed and underway click here.
- Mapping groundwater source protection zones
- Research, in combination with universities, on Irish groundwater issues
- Maintaining groundwater databases (e.g. wells, groundwater quality, groundwater levels)
- Answering hydrogeological enquiries from consulting scientists and engineers and the general public
The Groundwater Programme hosts a range of infomation datasets of use in many different sectors of Irish society:
- Karst Potential: We maintain a database of karst features, showing the location and relevant characteristics of individual karst features across Ireland. This database is updated when new information is submitted.
- Borehole Records: Drillers' and consultants' logs are available for some wells in each county. At best, these logs can give information on the depth to bedrock, subsoil type, bedrock type, groundwater strikes, and groundwater rest levels. Unfortunately, many of the logs are not very comprehensive and often do not contain accurate location information.
- Well Hydrographs: Long-term groundwater level data are available for wells in several aquifers types in Counties Cork, Kerry, Kildare, Laois, Louth, Roscommon, and Tipperary.
- Aquifer Classification: If an area is not yet covered by a Groundwater Protection Scheme, we can provide a provisional aquifer classification for the area in question.
We have a specific Groundwater web-mapping site accessible through this link. It displays vulnerability, aquifer and source protection datasets and facilitates search by county of interest.
The older version of the Groundwater mapping site has been decommissioned as it is no longer supported. June 2017.
All of the old viewer functionality is available in the new application which includes the print facility.