The national WFD monitoring programme for canals has been in place since 2006.
A review of this programme was undertaken by Waterways Ireland in tandem with the risk characterisation process for canals in 2017. This review concluded that the existing programme for canals was substantially fit for purpose; however, some amendments were required to the delineation of canal water bodies and to the sampling methodology.
The current WFD monitoring programme for canals includes 44 monitoring sites in 15 Artificial Water Bodies (Map below).
A number of water quality elements are assessed under the WFD to classify each canal water body according to its ecological potential.
Biological quality elements such as aquatic plants and invertebrates are sampled annually while physico-chemical parameters are sampled four-times per annum.