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Legacy Model

The SWELL project includes for an ambitious modelling strategy that seeks to develop a ecosystem ‘legacy’ model for both the Lough Foyle and Carlingford Lough drainage catchments. This ecosystem modelling approach with built-in source apportionment, represents a first-time integration of urban drainage, river, coastal and ecology models on a large scale catchment-wide basis.

Through extensive catchment investigations and the use of innovative modelling techniques, the SWELL ecosystem models can be used to track the pathways of nutrients and contaminants from wastewater, industrial or agricultural sources to determine their impact on the marine environment within both sea loughs.

The models will be used by the water utilities to facilitate water quality compliance assessments with respect to the EU Water Framework Directive and will inform sustainable asset planning through the apportionment of bacterial and nutrient loading contributions from wastewater and diffuse agricultural sources. On completion of the capital wastewater asset upgrades being undertaken as part of the SWELL project, the models can validate that the required INTERREG VA programme outputs and results indicators have been achieved.

On completion of the SWELL project, the ecosystem models will be held in public ownership to provide a sustainable legacy tool for cross-border use by water utilities, environmental regulators and other stakeholders. Ultimately, these legacy models will provide a useful platform for future engagement and the progression of an evidence-based decision-making approach to legislative compliance that builds on the skills, relationships and investment planning techniques developed by the SWELL project.

An overview of the Shared Waters Enhancement & Loughs Legacy (SWELL) project.

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