Verde Environmental Consultants & Oil Leak Clean Up Specialists 48% of European Rivers are exposed to Hydromorphological pressures. | Verde - Complete Environmental Solutions
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48% of European Rivers are exposed to Hydromorphological pressures.

48% of European Rivers are exposed to Hydromorphological pressures – Source: EC Environment.

Hydromorphology considers the physical character and water content of water bodies. Good hydromorphological conditions support aquatic ecosystems (i.e. hydromorphological elements such as water flow and substrate provide physical habitat for biota such as fish, invertebrates and aquatic macrophytes).

While hydromorphological impacts are not as severe compared to other European countries, it is an area that requires more attention in Ireland.

Significant pressures have been identified for waterbodies that are at risk of not meeting their water quality objectives under the EU Water Framework Directive. While there are a multitude of pressures in every waterbody, the significant pressures are those pressures which need to be addressed in order to improve water quality. Many of our waterbodies have multiple significant pressures. Impacts from hydromorphology include sediment/siltation pollution and alteration to the physical environment.


Hydromorphology pressures

  • abstraction
  • impoundment (i.e. dams and weirs)
  • channelisation
  • embankments
  • barriers
  • culverts
  • land drainage
  • overgrazing
  • bank erosion

Hydromorphological risk assessment approach for rivers, lakes, transitional and coastal water bodies

  1. Preliminary Risk Screening: incorporating information on water bodies with known hydromorphological issues based on expert opinion, along with evaluating national monitoring data in order to identify any indications of other pressures other than eutrophication. This will help identify water quality issues that need to be addressed first; it is vital to tackle water quality pressures prior to implementing hydromorphological measures. These water bodies, along with water bodies with known impacts caused by hydromorphological pressures, will be given high priority for the next stage.
  2. Initial Hydromorphological Characterisation: this will involve a GIS based desktop assessment to identify the screened water bodies that may be impacted by various hydromorphological pressures.
  3. Further hydromorphological characterisation: this can include actions such as field assessments to finally assign a risk category to the water body. This will allow the identification of appropriate mitigation and rehabilitation measures. Screening water bodies throughout the process will allow for a streamlined focused approach.

Verde Environmental Consultants have built a team of water resource assessment specialists who are focused on delivering quality hydrogeological services to our clients in industry.

Verde provide all aspects of hydrogeological services such as:

  • Groundwater abstraction feasibility assessments.
  • Authorisation of discharges to groundwater technical assessments.
  • Water quality/level monitoring.
  • Groundwater monitoring programmes and use of telemetry monitoring systems.
  • Water treatment installations.
  • Dewatering design services.
  • Geothermal assessments