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The groundwater level monitoring network is designed to primarily focus on groundwater bodies that are "at risk" from falling groundwater levels, caused by over-abstraction. The Article 5 Characterisation and Risk Assessment Report indicated that there very few groundwater bodies "at risk" from over-abstraction in the Republic of Ireland. The monitoring networks in these groundwater bodies have been designed to help assess the impacts of abstractions on the groundwater level and the flow of water to associated surface water receptors.
Monitoring networks in "not at risk" groundwater bodies have been designed to help improve conceptual understanding of the flow of groundwater from recharge to discharge areas.
The monitoring network is comprised of both wells and springs. Water levels in wells is measured using a combination of groundwater level recording data loggers and manual dipping. Spring flow discharge is generally measured using traditional water level/flow rating curve relationships with ultrasonic flow measurement devices used at some sites. Spot flows are measured using flow meters at some spring sites without continuous flow measurement.
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