Environmental Assessment and Analysis

Areas of assistance


Fields of interest include:

  • Water Pollution
  • Ecosystem Health and Management
  • Coastal Water Quality

Water Pollution

Water Pollution

Water pollution occurs when pollutants are discharged directly or indirectly into water bodies without adequate treatment to remove harmful compounds. Water pollution affects the ecology of organisms living in these bodies of water, being damaging to individual species and populations, and thence to the whole biological community. Specific contaminants leading to pollution in water include a wide spectrum of biological and chemico-physical factors (such as elevated temperature and discolouration).

Types of Question: How can we prevent pollution of transitional water bodies?

Potential project areas: Siting and assessment of outfalls| Discharge monitoring to meet consent limits for the water framework directive | Stormwater management

Coastal Water Quality

Coastal Water Quality

Coastal waters are a great asset, but the heavy concentration of activity in coastal areas, combined with pollutants flowing from inland rivers and streams are the primary causes of nutrient enrichment, harmful algal blooms, toxic contamination, sedimentation and hypoxia which can all result in reduction of water quality.

Types of Question: How can we improve the quality of water before it reaches the sea? Or, what impact do coastal ecosystems have on water quality?

Potential project areas: Investigate water quality for blue flag status | Coastal water quality measurement | Impacts on bathing water and shellfish directives

Ecosystem Health and Management

Ecosystem Health and Management

Sustainability of ecosystems has been impacted by development and land use changes involving elimination of wetlands and marshes; diversion of surface water; increased exploitation of underground aquifers; contamination of water by waste and discharges from industry and transport, as well as household and human waste. Human intervention and climate change are sources of variability in the natural productivity of coastal marine ecosystems. An additional issue is that associated with problem species, such as toxic phytoplankton (Harmful Algal Blooms)

Types of Question: How to prevent, reduce and control degradation of the marine environment so as to maintain and improve its life-support and productive capacities?

Potential project areas: Water filtration and purification| Integrated water resource management | Provision of habitats for fish and other food sources to spawn and develop | Provision of recreational sites | Waste disposal | Natural variability in water quality; hydrography, currents, water masses, weather | Toxic effects | Phytoplankton composition