The objective of this research was to determine how water-based recreational activities in Ireland are affected by differences in water quality across recreational sites.
The EPA’s 2016 State of the Environment report notes that, while the quality of Ireland’s surface waters is among the best in Europe improvements are still needed. Over the past six years there was no improvement in quality of river, transitional and coastal waters, while lake water quality has become slightly worse. The quality of Ireland’s marine and freshwater resources is of direct importance to the public and especially those that participate in water based recreational activity.
This research demonstrates that the quality of surface water impacts on the public’s water based recreational activity. There is a higher likelihood that waterway users visit waterway locations with a high quality levels to undertake their recreational activity; and additionally, that recreational trips of longer duration are associated with waterway sites that have high water quality levels.