NUI Galway’s School of Medicine are seeking volunteers to participate in a water survey to find out what people living in Galway City and Galway County know about their drinking water.
This survey is accessible at http://www.nuigalway.ie/bac/water_survey.html. It will take approximately 10 minutes to complete and will run until Wednesday, 23 July. People will also be surveyed on the street, house to house and online. The survey asks questions such as if people drink water from the tap at home, if they buy bottled water, if they know where their water supply comes from, and if they know whether their drinking water is tested regularly and treated to prevent contamination with bacteria and other organisms.
Millions of tonnes of water, from a variety of sources, are treated in Ireland every day to provide drinking water to Ireland’s population. The drinking waters produced and distributed by Irish Water are termed public water supplies and provide water to 82% of the Irish population. The rest of the population are supplied by group water schemes (6.6%), small private supplies (0.8%) and private wells (10.6%). This research hopes to gain an insight into what people served by different supply types know about their drinking water, if they’ve ever experienced difficulties with their drinking water supply and if so what impact this had on their drinking water habits.
The research, funded by the Health Research Board (HRB), will be carried out by Dr Dearbháile Morris, lecturer in Bacteriology at the School of Medicine, NUI Galway and second year medical student, Maeve Cahalan.
NUI Galway’s Dr Dearbháile Morris said: “Water is everywhere and is essential for life. We all drink water everyday but this precious resource is under threat. The UN estimate that 47% of the world’s population will be living in areas of high water stress by 2030. So what do we really know about our drinking water? This survey aims to give us more detail on what we know, our usage and how to protect this precious commodity.”
Results of this short survey will help inform a larger Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-funded research project led by Dr Dearbháile Morris, in conjunction with the Centre for Health from Environment, Ryan Institute, NUI Galway.