About Smart Coasts = Sustainable Communities
A New INTERREG IVA Project
|Academic Partners||Aberystwyth University|
|University College Dublin|
|Contributing Stakeholders||Environment Agency Wales|
|Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government Ireland|
|Environmental Protection Agency Ireland|
|City and County of Swansea|
|Dwr Cymru Welsh Water|
|Marine Institute Ireland|
|Wicklow County Council|
Real-time prediction of coastal water quality can ensure protection of public health and produce more ‘excellent’ quality bathing waters in Wales and Ireland. It is recommended by the World Health Organization.
Smart Coasts = Sustainable Communities will develop practical management models at two exemplar sites in Ireland and Wales. At these sites, we will collect high quality data to underpin credible model design. Two types of models will be investigated: i.e., (i) simple black-box models where compliance is related to, for example, rainfall or river flow thresholds; and (ii) more complex process-based models linking land surface runoff with near-shore flow patterns producing pollutant concentrations at impacted bathing sites. The modelling tools will be designed to be generic, transferable and incorporate considerable practical operational input to their design from our Contributing Stakeholders in Wales and Ireland.
As a spin-off of the work, the new data acquisition will provide excellent information on the relative contributions of different pollution sources to the receiving waters at the two demonstration sites. In Wales, this data resource will be used by DC/WW and EA Wales to ensure cost effective and evidence-based decisions are taken on any future improvement strategies that must target both ‘point source’ infrastructure and ‘diffuse source’ pollution loading from catchments draining to the sea.
We have specifically chosen Swansea Bay and Bray Beach for this project, i.e., bathing waters which are currently not considered excellent. Swansea Bay and Bray are ideally suited for this project, since they are not industrialised, have beaches within walking distance of thousands of residents, are popular destinations for tourism and watersport activities, have received significant investment to improve infrastructure and recreational facilities.
The project commenced in July 2010 with completion and reporting in 2013.
Professor David Kay (Aberystwyth University)
Professor Wim Meijer (University College Dublin)
QUANTITATIVE MICROBIAL SOURCE APPORTIONMENT (QMSA)
Aim 1-produce QMSA analysis for both catchments and associated nearshore areas
NEW ‘STATISTICAL’ PREDICTION MODELLING
Aim 2-calibrate and build statistical prediction models for both sites
LINKED MODELS OF CATCHMENTS AND THE NEAR-SHORE ZONE
Aim 3 – calibrate and build linked catchment and nearshore models for both sites
REAL TIME PUBLIC INFORMATION TOOLS
Aim 4 – Develop and field test real-time public information tools at each site.
TRACKING AND QUANTIFICATION OF MICROBIAL SOURCE
Aim 5 – design and deploy environmental microbial tracing and tracing systems to confirm/calibrate model predictions
SUCCESSFUL MODEL IMPLEMENTATION AND BATHING WATER COMPLIANCE
Aim 6 – Operationalise and run modelling systems to predict bathing water compliance and drive real time prediction and public information systems
ROAD-MAP TO GUIDE REGULATORS AND OPERATORS AT OTHER LOCATIONS
Aim 7 – Provide the mechanisms and communication to ensure take up of the modelling and information systems in both partner areas and throughout the EU
About the Funding Programme
The Ireland/Wales Cross Border Programme is managed by the Southern and Eastern Regional Assembly (SERA) in Ireland under the 2007-2013 EU Structural Funds programmes. Priority 2 of the Programme supports projects which have a positive impact on local communities in the cross border area and are closely aligned to EU, Irish and WAG strategies to promote sustainable development and tackle climate change.
Previous Related Research Projects
ICREW – Improving the coastal and recreational waters
The objective of ICREW is to improve the contribution of coastal and inland waters used for leisure purposes to sustainable economic prosperity and to enhance quality of life in the Atlantic Area, by reducing their pollution and improving their quality.
The EU Bathing Water Directive sets mandatory standards for water quality at bathing water sites. This Directive was revised in March 2006 and the new standards will be substantially tighter than previously.
Considerable investment has already been made across the EU in improving the treatment of sewage effluent that discharges to our rivers and coasts. However, the new standards in the Directive require us to focus our attention away from large sewage discharges to less obvious forms of pollution such as diffuse run-off from agricultural land. The outputs from ICREW provide member states with common tools to investigate and reduce pollution, encouraging consistent compliance with the Directive standards across the EU.
Final report - Icrew Final Report
SMART - Sustainable management of near shore water quality for aquaculture, recreation and tourism
The overall aims of the project are to build on the results of the partners’ INTERREG II project “Achieving EU standards in recreational waters” in applying the predictive tools developed for integrated pollution budget analysis and computer modelling of “point” and “diffuse” sources of pollution to ensure sustainable management of high quality shellfisheries and recreational water environments in Ireland and Wales. Specifically, the project utilises the joint “diffuse catchment sources” model developed by the teams in their last INTERREG II project and apply this to three new areas, namely: Carmarthen Bay (Wales), and Dublin Bay and Bannow Bay (Ireland.)