Water: West Coast of Ireland

Water is one of the most important resources in Ireland for many reasons, whether it be in regards to the their multiple bodies of water or clean drinking water. Their aquatic environment is very important to the people of Ireland and attracts many tourists throughout the year. Tourists learn a lot about the different bodies of water and the benefits that each give to the people of Ireland. Additionally, there are also some significant issues with Water in Ireland, specifically how clean water is becoming more and more scarce.

Bodies of water are extremely important to Ireland for many reasons, one being how they retrieve food such as shellfish. For example, Killary Harbour is a fjord located in the west of Ireland and is approximately sixteen kilometres long. This fjord’s thriving aquaculture is extremely important because it allows people, such as mussel farmers, to set up their farming technology in the fjord, and retrieve thousands of shell fish so that they can sell to restaurants and markets for people of Ireland to consume. Although so many forms of shellfish are collected, the amazing aquaculture allows for shellfish to thrive greatly so there are always large amounts and are not at the risk of distinction. Essentially, without bodies of water such as a Fjord, aquatic food would not be as easily accessible.  

Also, clean water is something very important to Ireland, but can become a huge issue at times. During my visit to Ireland, I had the chance to talk to a local at the pub in Inis Oirr about the issue and also experienced the struggle of not having access to clean water at times. When talking to a male around the same age as me, he expressed how water can become extremely scarce, especially when the island has hundreds of visitors a day. He told me that there is enough water on the island for four hundred people even though only two hundred and fifty people reside there. Because of the influx of tourists during the day that use the clean water in public restrooms, hotels, and hostels, water becomes scarce. I experienced this the first night; I wanted to shower after dinner but forgot that the island shuts the water supply off at nine pm to eight thirty am in order to conserve water. This meant I could not take a shower, use the sink to brush my teeth, or flush the toilet. The next day I noticed multiple signs around the building requesting for guests to take quick showers, to not leave the sink running when washing your face and brushing your teeth, etc. Some hostels also have one button that turns the shower on, and then shuts the water off after ten seconds to save and preserve water. This may be frustrating for guests, especially those visiting from out of the country and are not used to routines like this, but it serves as a beneficial way to not waste unnecessary water. 

Notice posted on the wall at the Inis Oirr Hostel requesting for guests to not waste water.

When picturing the beautiful country of Ireland, most envision the lush greenery and the mesmerizing blue water but they do not think about the importance of water as a resource. Not only do the many bodies of water benefit the food system for the country, but many are unaware of the lack of clean water problem and how important it is to save water. Nobody thinks about these water aspects in Ireland but if one were to visit different parts of the country they could easily see not only why water is important but some of the problems that come along with it. People may even ponder about how water is important to them, and ways in which they can be more conservation with their own water usage.

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