Catchment News

Celebrate World Water Day – Friday 22 March

World Water Day, held on 22 March every year since 1993, is an annual United Nations Observance focusing on the importance of freshwater.   You can learn more and find out about some events happening around the country to celebrate World Water Day below.

UN World Water Day – ‘Water for Peace’

Every year, UN-Water — the UN’s coordination mechanism on water and sanitation — sets the theme for World Water Day. In 2023, the focus was on Accelerating Change. In 2024, the theme will be Leveraging Water for Peace.

Water can create peace or spark conflict.

When water is scarce or polluted, or when people have unequal or no access, tensions can rise between communities and countries. More than 3 billion people worldwide depend on water that crosses national borders. Yet, out of 153 countries that share rivers, lakes and aquifers with their neighbours, only 24 countries report having cooperation agreements for all their shared water.

As climate change impacts increase, there is an urgent need, within and between countries, to unite around protecting and conserving our most precious resource.

As populations grow, water will become increasingly important in the fight against poverty and the deterioration of the environment. Cooperation on water can build vital resilience to extreme weather events and help populations to mitigate and adapt to a changing climate.

Public health and prosperity, food and energy systems, economic productivity and environmental integrity all rely on a well-functioning and equitably managed water cycle. This means that non-discrimination and equality in ensuring access to water and sanitation can have a positive ripple effect across society.

Peaceful cooperation around water can flow into peaceful cooperation in all sectors. By working together to balance everyone’s human rights and needs, water can be a stabilizing force and a catalyst for sustainable development.

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Events in Ireland to celebrate Celebrate World Water Day

Teagasc Signpost Series Webinar: ‘Water quality and agriculture – challenges and opportunities’ with Dr Jenny Deakin from the EPA Catchments Unit

Online, 22 March at 09:30

To celebrate World Water Day, Dr Jenny Deakin, Senior Catchment Scientist from the EPA, will be discussing ‘Water quality and agriculture – challenges and opportunities‘.

You can register online for this event and you can learn more about this seminar series on the Teagasc website:–air-quality/the-signpost-series-webinars/

Offaly: The River Brosna – an environmental history

Clara Heritage Society are launching Professor John Feehan’s latest book focusing on the River Brosna and its wider catchments. Ella McSweeney of “Ear to the Ground” on RTE and columnist for the Irish times is the guest speaker on the night with the formal launch by Cathaoirleach Eddie Fitzpatrick from Offaly County Council. The book is in gorgeous colour and has some 400 pages packed with fantastic information on the Brosna.

Signed copies will be available on the night for €30. The book is published with the support of Westmeath County Council and Creative Ireland. John is a fountain of knowledge on all things geoscience and one of our leading environmental communicators in Ireland. If you have 5 or 10 minutes to spare, check out his latest entry on “Whitlow-Grass” in the lovely wildflowers of Offaly series by clicking here.

When:  Friday March 22nd 2024, 7.30pm.

Where: The Star (GAA Hall), River Street, Clara, Co. Offaly.  

More information: See the Offaly Heritage Facebook page.

Kerry – Vice Admiral Mark Mellet

Laois – Nore River Catchment Trust at Abbeyleix Bog

Meath – Boyne Rivers Trust with Manchán Magan

Donegal – Glenveagh National Park

EPA Water Conference 2023

Finally, if you can’t make any of these events but would like to learn more about water quality in Ireland, all talks from the EPA Water Conference 2023 are available on YouTube.

There were sessions on:

  • Water quality and policy
  • Agriculture – this included an extended panel discussion moderated by Philip Boucher Hayes
  • Health, water and emerging issues
  • The future of water
The EPA Water Conference was held on 14 and 15 June 2023 in Salthill, Galway. All talks are available on YouTube.

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 water bodies.

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 Programme.


Local Authority Waters Programme

The Local Authority Waters Programme coordinates the efforts of local authorities and other public bodies in the implementation of the River Basin Management Plan, and supports local community and stakeholder involvement in managing our natural waters, for everyone’s benefit.


Environmental Protection Agency

The EPA is responsible for coordinating the monitoring, assessment and reporting on the status of our 4,842 water bodies, looking at trends and changes, determining which waterbodies are at risk and what could be causing this, and drafting environmental objectives for each.


Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage

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 to protect and restore our waters.