There's been a 3% decline overall

The water quality in Irish waters has fallen, a new EPA report has found.

Its latest water quality assessment says 197 river water bodies have improved in quality between 2015 and 2017 - but 269 have deteriorated.

This means a net overall decline of 3% - or 72 water bodies.

Most pollution's caused by too much nitrogen and phosphorus entering waters.

These come from human activities - mainly farms and urban areas.

"Despite a long-term reduction, recent data indicates that levels of nitrogen and phosphorus are beginning to rise again", the EPA says.

"Unless addressed, this is likely to lead to further declines in water quality in the future."

Source: EPA

However, there have been some positive changes, as serious pollution continues to decrease.

It says only two rivers were 'seriously polluted', compared to five in the 2013-2015 period.

EPA science officer Wayne Trodd says they're going to tackle the problem locally.

"The plan is to start tackling these issues on a local level, using the local water communities officers.

"They'll be working with the local authorities, they'll be looking at the rivers at that local level and to see what the problem is and where it can be tackled."