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Groundwater Risk App for Local Evaluations GRAppLE

Groundwater Risk App for Local Evaluations GRAppLE


​This research has been carried under the Geological Survey Ireland 2017 Short Call. This call provided funding for researchers in academia or industry on the island of Ireland for projects of less than 12 months duration and less than €25,000. 

Please note that the final report has been redacted to remove staff, financial and sensitive information. Some file sizes have been reduced to allow easier uploading/downloading, higher quality files are available on request. Supplemental information is also available on request in most cases. Please contact research[AT]

Disclaimer:  The views expressed in this report are those of the author(s) and not of Geological Survey Ireland or the Department of Climate Action, Communications and Environment.

Lead Applicant: Dr Jean O'Dwyer

Host: University of Limerick

Project Title: Groundwater Risk App for Local Evaluations (GRAppLE)

Project Description: Private groundwater sources in the Republic of Ireland currently provide daily drinking water to an estimated 750,000 people, with recent Irish research reporting that groundwater users have an increased risk of enteric infection from waterborne pathogens. However, due to the dispersed, decentralised and ubiquitous nature of private wells in Ireland, appropriate monitoring, maintenance, and remediation is both complex and financially prohibitive via a "Top Down" approach. Accordingly, a "Bottom Up" approach, whereby individual custodianship is facilitated, will aide in safeguarding public health at the household level. This project will utilise existing Irish data on microbial ingress to groundwater coupled with mobile device technology to develop a Groundwater Risk App for Local Evaluation (GRAppLE). A simplified risk model will be created to provide a risk assessment equation for use with GPS tracking and a "fetch and entry" function. Using user-derived data and publically available shapefiles / databases, GRAppLE will narrow the gap between laboratory science, social engagement, and "pocket technology", thus representing the first, holistic device application that provides a live source-specific risk assessment to private well users in Ireland. By putting science in the public's hands, it is believed that public stewardship will be promoted, thus safeguarding both public and ecological health.