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Water quality report must be wake-up call - McGuigan

16 December, 2021 - by Philip McGuigan

Sinn Féin MLA Philip McGuigan has called on the Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Minister to urgently address the state of our lakes and rivers.

The North Antrim MLA was speaking after a recent report revealed that not one of the north's rivers, lakes or coastal waters received a 'good overall status' rating for water quality. 

Philip McGuigan said: 

“Minister Poots needs to launch an urgent review into the serious decline in our rivers and lakes. 

“A constant decline in water quality has been a hallmark of the Minister's tenure. 

“In 2015, 147 of our rivers were found to be in good overall condition, that figure has now plummeted to zero. 

“Similarly, we had five lakes recording good water quality in 2018 and this has also plummeted to zero. 

“Under EU regulations, we were due to have 70% of our rivers here in good condition by 2021. Yet, as early as 2019 with just 36% of rivers achieving the minimum acceptable standard, the department announced that they probably wouldn't meet the target. 

“This is unacceptable given the importance of water quality and needs to be addressed.”

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