Catchments Newsletter

Our Catchments Newsletter brings together science and stories from community groups, local authorities, researchers and others about the different ways we all work together to care for Ireland’s rivers, lakes, streams and coastal waters.

We want these stories to inspire more people to take part in looking after their local community’s environment, and particularly our waterbodies.

But we can’t do it alone…


Have you a story to tell?

We want to tell stories than help people understand the connections between them, their local community’s environment, and enhancing human health. We also want to promote public participation.

If you have a story for a future issue, please get in touch using our Contact page.

“Lively and engaging” – Michael Viney, The Irish Times

Winter 2018 Catchments Newsletter

The Winter 2018 Catchments Newsletter looks at:

  • Waters and Communities: news from around the country
    • Cavan: protecting drinking water from pesticides
    • Donegal: Source to Tap and Slow the Flow
    • Dublin: World Water Day and Dublin Water Action Day
    • Galway: Cuan Beo and Galway Bay, celebrating the River Nanny,  The Irish Workhouse Centre, and Glenamaddy Tidy Town’s Turlough
    • Mayo: Castlebar Community Clean, and Ballina Salmon Festival
    • Westmeath: Athlone’s community spirit, and St. Joseph’s Foroige, Streamstown
  • Understanding our catchments: Water Framework Directive characterisation
  • The River Basin Management Plan, 2018-2021
  • The Local Authority Waters Programme Catchment Assessment Team
  • Significant Pressures: selected summaries
    • Agriculture
    • Hydromorphology
    • Forestry
    • Peat
    • Urban Waste Water
    • Invasive Species
  • Telling stories with data
  • Local Catchment Assessments – the next step in characterising our catchments
  • Map: Priority Areas for Action, 2018-2021

Spring 2018 Catchments Newsletter

The Spring 2018 Catchments Newsletter looks at:

  • Ireland’s freshwaters: a world of wonder and discovery awaits you
  • News and events:
    • Cool Planet Experience launched in Wicklow
    • Source to Tap in Erne and Derg catchments
    • Tidy Towns: Waters and Communities Special Award, and celebrating community success in Ashbourne
    • River Explorers by Leave No Trace
    • Teagasc Agricultural Catchments join Twitter
    • Hydrogeologist field trip report
  • Poster: How you can Clean, Check Dry your wet gear to help save the White-clawed Crayfish
  • AranLIFE: working in the present, building for the future
  • Results-based payments for farming: delivering high quality biodiversity and other public goods
  • Time to rewild? – a view from across the Irish sea
  • Smart Farming Case Study
  • Using reverse auctions to support delivery of catchment off-sets
  • It’s all about the algae

Winter Catchments Newsletter

The Winter Catchments Newsletter looks at:

  • Water Heritage Day – events held all around Ireland
  • Launch of the ‘Sustainability Support and Advisory Programme’ to improve water quality
  • Books:
    • Tapestry of Light – Ireland’s bogs and wetlands as never seen before
    • Dublin Bay – Nature and History
  • The National Water Forum – working for the common good
  • Developing the next River Basin Management Plan: a collaborative approach involving communities
  • What is catchment Science?
  • Local communities developing a vision for their water catchments – The Nore, Thomastown, Dundalk Bay, The Dodder, and Galway Bay
  • Smart Farming
  • Farmland guidelines to help pollinators
  • Tackling invasive species in Cork
  • Science: Shannon bird survey, modelling catchment management solutions for pesticides in the UK, and Irish nutrient modelling that indicates most losses to surface waters are from diffuse sources
  • Resources: New EPA Research reports on climate change, catchment services, sediment flux, Natural Organic Matter (NOM) and Ptaquiloside, and the benefits of good water quality for water-based leisure activities
Catchments Newsletter - sharing science and stories. Autumn 2017

Autumn Catchments Newsletter

The Autumn Catchments Newsletter looks at:

  • News from Rivers Trusts and Workshops around Ireland
  • Launch of
  • Engaging local communities on the draft River Basin Management Plan
  • New EPA report: Water Quality in Ireland 2010-2015
  • Outcomes of Catchment Characterisation
  • How climate change can bring us together
  • Tackling Invasive Species
  • Understanding and managing freshwater and their ecosystems
  • Forestry, bogs and wetlands – how they can contribute to a healthy environment
The Spring Catchments Newsletter looks at:
  • The Waters and Communities Office – introducing their team and what they do
  • Details on the public consultation on the draft River Basin Management Plan
  • The new National Forum on Water
  • Launch of new app to track some invasive species of plants by Limerick City and County Council, and a story about how Offaly have managed their invasive species
  • Stories from Italy and Australia about managing floods and drinking water
  • Some winning entries from this year’s Young Scientists exhibition
  • The Uisce Aille education project on Integrated Catchment Management in The Burren
  • Stories from the Mulkear, Funshion and Moy about how local communities are working together to help manage their catchments
  • How one volunteer is helping look after wild Irish hedgehogs
  • Love Your River Telford – an example of urban catchment management in the UK
  • And lots more…
Winter Catchments Newsletter Cover
The Winter Catchments Newsletter looks at:
  • Citizen Science – mapping river obstacles, identifying flies, how tea bags can help you do some science, community catchment science from Antrim, and the Lough Derg Native Fish Biodiversity Project.
  • Communities managing invasive species in Achill and Kilkenny,
  • High Nature Value Farmland and ‘Sustainable Intensification’
  • The impact of nutrient reduction measures on Irish estuaries
  • Biodiversity – the variety of life, saving native apple trees and bees, the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan, and detection of predators in the Avon Catchment (UK).
  • Ecosystem Hydrology
  • Climate Change Impacts
  • National Federation of Group Water Schemes – Septic Tanks Systems Desludging pilot
  • The ‘Catchment Services’ concept
  • Resources: Citizen Science for birds, biodiversity and coasts; reporting pollution with an app, urban gardens, Natura 2000

The June 2016 issue of the Catchments Newsletter focused on ‘The Story of the Suir’ – with

  • There are several articles highlighting the work that has been done on the Suir catchment, looking at how healthy the catchment is and the chemistry, biology, flow, and more.
  • Technical Note: Electrical Conductivity –  a useful tool for investigating catchment hydrology
  • Teagasc on Protecting Open Drains
  • An update on the Waters and Communities Office
  • LEADER and funding opportunities
  • Freshwater Aquaculture – the MOREFISH project
  • Resources Section: GSI Groundwater Newsletter, Rural Water News, HAB Bulletin, White tailed eagles and anglers, Waterways Ireland Holiday guides, NESC on Burren LIFE, Irish Forum on Natural Capital, How local communities can help pollinators, and more…
Catchments Newsletter Cover March 2016

The March 2016 issue of the Catchments Newsletter looked at:

  • Locally-led agricultural schemes – 10 step guide to startinga scheme, Burren LIFE, The Blackstairs Hill Farming Group.
  • Duhallow LIFE – community led conservation
  • Cattle – Kerry research on conservation grazing, and a study on their impact on freshwater ecosystems
  • Winter land use restrictions
  • Drinking Water Safety Plans
  • Ireland’s Catchment Flood Risk and Assessment Programme
  • Sustainable community engagement in Wetlands
  • Water Framework Directive Typologies for lakes
  • Agricultural Catchments Programme – Phase 3
  • Farming and Biodiversity Photo Competition with Streamscapes and IASTA
  • The Water Policy Advisory Committee
  • The Water Framework Directive Application – managing and sharing water data
  • Resources Section: Natural Flood Measures, The Wheel on Commissioning for Communities and EU funding for non-profits, making Room for The River, Dredging: a reality check, Natural Capital challenges in the Dairy Sector, and more…

The first issue of the Catchments Newsletter covers:

  • The new Local Authority Waters and Communities Office,
  • Catchment Case Study: The Loobagh in Limerick
  • A beginners guide to integrated catchment management
  • An explanation of hydromorphology
  • Dublin Bay Biosphere
  • Crayfish plague in Lough Gowna
  • Field Trip: Eden Test Catchment, UK

Who is involved?

Quite simply, everyone in Ireland has a role to play. This can be from something as simple as making sure you don’t pollute your local stream, or a local community working together to establish a Rivers Trust to enhance the rivers and lakes in their area, to a Government Department or Agency helping a Minister implement a new policy to help protect and enhance all our waterbodies.

This website has been developed and is maintained by the Environmental Protection Agency, and is a collaboration between the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Local Authority Waters and Communities Office.


Local Authority Waters and Communities Office

The Waters and Communities Office has been established to carry out public consultation and engagement, and to coordinate the activities of all 31 local authorities in areas connected with the Water Framework Directive.


Environmental Protection Agency

The EPA is responsible for coordinating the monitoring, assessment and reporting on the status of our 4829 waterbodies, looking at trends and changes and determining which waterbodies are at risk and what could be causing this, and drafting environmental objectives and measures for each.


Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government

The Department is responsible for making sure that the right policies, regulations and resources are in place to implement the Water Framework Directive, and developing a River Basin Management Plan and Programme of Measures that will be implemented after public consultation, and sign off by the Minister.