Freshwater Ecosystem Services – An Introduction for Stakeholders

A new EPA Research report involving CWRR researchers is now available. Entitled ‘Freshwater Ecosystem Services – An Introduction for Stakeholders’, this report is a short document introducing the Ecosystem Services framework, its application to Freshwater resources, and its incorporation into Resources Management and Policy. 

The ‘Ecosystem Services’ can be defined as the contributions of the ecosystems to human well-being, and are often sub-divided into three categories: provisioning, regulating and cultural. For Freshwater resources, ‘provisioning ecosystem services’ regroup contributions such as the provision of clean water, or the provision of aquatic animals. ‘Supporting ecosystem services’ include, namely, the mediation of waste and pollution, or the mediation of flows. Finally, ‘cultural ecosystem services’ are less tangible and contain, among others, recreational values (e.g. swimming, angling), or aesthetic values.

This report is the second publication of the EPA project ESManage. ESManage is working on the incorporation of the Ecosystem Services values into the integrated management of Irish freshwater resources. This is a 3-year EPA funded project and started in January 2015. CWRR researchers Prof. Michael Bruen and Thibault Hallouin are involved in this project, and are investigating the use of dynamic hydrological and water quality models for the predictions of the provision of Freshwater Ecosystem Services in Ireland.