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Draft River Basin Management Plan - Water River Basin Management Plans 2008/ERBD Leaflet.pdfRiver Basin Management plan for our waters, now we need

May 31, 2020




  • heLP US PLaN!The full text of the River Basin Management Plan, supporting Strategic Environmental Assessment and Appropriate Habitats assessment are available at River Basin Management Plans for all the River Basins in Ireland and supporting background documents are available at An interactive web mapping tool can be accessed at

    Early responses would be appreciated to allow more time to clarify and resolve issues.

    Comments, views and suggestions should be sent by 22nd June 2009 to:


    POST: River Basin Management Plan CommentsERBD Project Co-ordinator, Dublin City Council, 68-70 Marrowbone Lane, 4th Floor, Dublin 8

    YOUr LOcaL area Small presentations on the River Basin Management Plan on sub-catchment basis have been prepared. These can be downloaded at

    whY DO we NeeD YOUr OPiNiON?Each one of us uses clean water and creates dirty water. We therefore all have an important role to play in the future protection and improvement of our water. Under the European Union Water Framework directive (2000/60/EC), we have developed a draft River Basin Management plan for our waters, now we need you to have your say as a stakeholder.

    In December 2008 a draft River Basin Management Plan was completed which assessed the current status of all waters, identified problem areas and set out actions to protect and enhance our waters. By waters we mean rivers, lakes, estuaries, coastal water and ground water.

    whY DO we NeeD tO PrOtect OUr waterS?Water is essential to humans and nature alike. As a natural resource, water provides the environmental supporting conditions necessary for aquatic habitats and wetland areas. Water is abstracted from rivers, lakes and the ground for a variety of purposes; public and private supply, animal watering, commercial activity, industrial processing, and dewatering (in the quarry and construction sectors).

    Water is an important amenity for swimming, fishing and boating activities, enhanced by good water quality.

    Water: Essential for Today and Tomorrow

    Draft River Basin Management Plan

    hOw wiLL we imPLemeNt aLL theSe chaNGeS? In June 2009 your comments will be collated into a Submissions Report and the draft River Basin Management Plan altered accordingly. The final River Basin Management will become law on the 22nd December 2009. By 22nd December 2012 all measures must be operational.

    The Eastern District Local Authorities and other statutory bodies will take on responsibility for their measures. We will begin by testing our Programme of Measures in pilot catchments. If they are cost-effective we will extend the Programme of Measures across the catchment. If not we should re-consider them to maximise time and effort.

    All waters will continue to be monitored through the Water Framework Directive Monitoring Network. We will look for trends in the results, improvements and deterioration and therefore keep track of the impact of the Programme of Measures.

    In the first cycle of the plan (2009-2015) new legislation will be enacted to bridge current regulation gaps. For example legislation requirements have been identified to regulate abstractions from surface and groundwater, and new shellfish areas will be designated

    We will continue to update our River Basin Management System – an online River Basin Management Planning system that stores all water quality and River Basin Management planning data. This will be available for viewing in all Local Authorities.

    Implementing the European Union Water Framework Directive

    SPace fOr YOUr time LiNe???

    Information Leaflet

    Eastern River Basin Districtcheck out your local area at

    North Eastern RBDNorth Western RBD Neagh Bann RBD

    Western RBD

    South Western RBD

    Eastern RBD

    South Eastern RBDShannon RBD

    River Basin Districts in Ireland

  • Overview Of the water framewOrk

    DirectiveThe Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC) was enacted in Europe in 2000. It became law in Ireland in 2003 and set out a new, strengthened process to protect and enhance our water resources and water dependent ecosystems. The Directive sets out an iterative process to improve our waters. We have met all major milestones to date: characterizing our waters, establishing a monitoring network, establishing new methods for status classification and now have completed a draft Plan.

    The River Basin Management Plan is a six year plan from 2009-2015 which records the condition of our waters at the start of the Plan, sets out objectives for our waters and Programmes of Measures to achieve those objectives. A second six year plan will be created in 2015 based in the results on the first, and a third plan in 2027.

    Programme of Measures: For each River, Lake, Estuary, Coastal Water and Groundwater in the Eastern River Basin District we must come up with a set of actions or ‘measures’ to either protect its good status or restore it to good status. This involves detailed analysis of the various problems affecting different waters across the district.

    Classifying Status is a new method of defining the condition of our waters. This is a key baseline step in the process allowing us to set objectives and create Programmes of Measures. This is done by the Environmental Protection Agency using new classification tools that consider all impacts on our waters at one time. Waters classified as ‘High’ or ‘Good’ must not be allowed to deteriorate. Waters classified as below Good Status must be restored to at least good status.

    1. hOw heaLthY are OUr waterS? The first step of any planning process is to set a baseline. The Directive asks us to ‘classify status’ of our waters. We have done this for each river, lake, estuary, coastal water and ground water. A definition is given in the paragraph on Classifying Status under the Overview of the Water Framework Directive.

    Overall 45% of our waterbodies are at Good or High status, this means they are in good condition and our objective is to protect them. 55% of our waters are at less than Good Status, are objective is to restore these.

    Classification status is either high, good, moderate, poor or bad. The current status assigned to our surface waters can be seen on the map in this leaflet.

    2. what are the PrOBLemS? The Water Matters Report published in 2007 discussed the main problems causing pollution in our waters. These are shown in the adjacent illustration of a river catchment.

    Abstractions Agriculture Landfills, Quarries, Mines and Contaminated Lands Forestry Physical Modifications: Usage and Discharge of Dangerous Substances Wastewater and Industrial Discharges Wastewater from unsewered properties Local Issues

    Can you identify these problems in the Figure 1? To find out the answer and see the Water Matters report please log on to

    Catchments are subjected to many simultaneous problems. The Directive expects us to balance their combined impact for the benefit and protection of our waters.

    4. what are the OBJectiveS?Next we must set ourselves clear objectives. We have four core objectives for our surface waters and four core objectives for our groundwaters.

    Surface Water GroundwaterPrevent deterioration Limit pollution inputs and

    prevent deterioration

    Improve waters to Good Status where possible

    Improve quality and balance quantity where appropriate to achieve Good Status

    Progressively reduce chemical pollution

    Reverse Pollution Trends

    Achieve our protected area objectives

    Achieve our protected area objectives

    Some water bodies have been modified by humans for navigation, water storage, flood defences and other essential uses. These are called Heavily Modified water bodies. Water bodies that are entirely man-made, for example canals, are called Artificial water bodies. The Directive recognises that we will never return these waters to their natural state and so sets the objective of Good Ecological Potential. This allows us to retain their important use, whilst still aiming for maximum protection and enhancement of the waters.

    5. river BaSiN maNaGemeNt PLaNNiNGEvery catchment in the Eastern River Basin District is affected by a different combination of problems. In Wicklow we have significant land use for commercial forestry, in the cities like Dublin and Swords, the waters have been physically modified for flood defences, in Meath the predominant land use is agriculture. We must therefore plan accordingly.

    In the River Basin Management Plan, we propose a Programme of Measures made up of ‘Basic Measures’ and where necessary ‘Supplementary Measures’.

    Basic measures include: 11 Key European Directives on common issues such as Urban Wastewater Treatment Systems and Pesticides11 other issues that must be addressed by the member state in their own manner

    Supplementary Measures are additional measures selected in catchments to remediate identified local issues and where the regulations alone will not solve the problem.

    3. PrOtecteD areaS Some areas require greater protection because they contain rare and vulnerable habitats or wildlife. Other protected areas are sensitive because of their beneficial use for humans, such as drinking water sources or shellfish areas.

    The protected areas include Special Protected Areas for Wild Birds, Special Areas of Conservation for Habitats and Natural Heritage Areas as found in the Wicklow Mountains, the River Boyne and Dublin Bay.

    We have Salmonid protected rivers such as the Dargle in Bray, and bathing water beaches such as Brittas Bay, Dollymount Strand and Donabate.

    6. achieviNG GOOD water StatUSThe Water Framework Directive requires us to achieve at least Good status in all our waters except in certain rare cases where it may be technically infeasible or disproportionately expensive to achieve Good Status.

    It may be technically infeasible to achieve Good Status by 2015 due to scientific reasons such

    as the duration of natural cleansing processes after a measure has been implemented or technical reasons such as the design and construction schedule for a Waste Water Treatment plant. It might be disproportionately expensive to remediate a water body if the social and economic costs significantly outweigh the environmental cost. In the ERBD we propose that it is not possible to achieve Good Status in all waters before 2015. A more cost effective phased approach is therefore

    Lough Tay is currently at Good Status.

    We must protect it’s status

    The Status of our rivers, lakes, estuaries, coastal water and ground water

    Water Matters Report, 2007

    Check out your local area at and see if we have identified and addressed the problems in your catchment.

    When we will achieve Good Status in our waters

    proposed. In the Eastern District we expect to achieve Good Status in all waters by 2027.

    The baseline status of our waters for 2007 showed 45% at Good Status. The objective is to achieve Good Status in 61% of all water by 2015, 82% by 2021 and 100% in 2027.

    A phased approach would begin by focusing on the upper catchments and working progressively downstream.

    7. what haPPeNS NeXt? A six month period of public consultation began on the 22nd December 2008 and will end on the 22nd June 2009. In this period we would like you to tell us what you like and do not like about the Plan, whether there are problems we have missed or measures we should prioritise. A Strategic Environmental Assessment and Appropriate Assessment under the Habitats Directive are also included in this public consultation.

    Your opinion is important to usWe have asked you for your help a number of times most recently in 2007 after the publishing of the Water Matters Report. An Advisory Council made up of local politicians, Environmental Non Governmental Organisations (NGO) and Eastern River Basin District Interest groups has been assisting us every step of the planning process. We will come to you again in 2015 when it is time to review the first Plan and create our second Plan, and again in 2021.

    In the meantime we hope you will keep your local authorities informed of all pollution incidences and support this plan.

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