A report from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has revealed that 92% of the lakes studied were deemed to be satisfactory.

The EPA examined more than 1,500 rivers and nearly 450 lakes to collect the data for the three-year report, with some 13,240 kilometres of rivers and streams covered.

However, despite the improvement in water quality, the EPA insists that further improvements would need to be made at a faster rate in order to meet a 2015 target under the Water Framework Directive, with 29% of river length still polluted.

Minister for the environment, John Gormley, said: “Water is a very precious resource and we must do everything in our power to protect and conserve it.

“We have made some progress in the area of water quality in recent years but a lot more needs to be done.

“Unfortunately, our rivers, lakes and water sources are still under threat from pollution and we must protect them.”

Meanwhile, Mr Gormley will have access to Euro 560m in 2009 for investment in water services, a rise of 19% on this year.

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