Catchment News

Adapting the Plan to Climate Change 2009-2015

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Adapting the Plan to Climate Change 2009-2015

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A ‘climate-check’ has been completed of the River Basin Management Plan. The climate-check was achieved by:

  • Assessing risk, due to climate change, of not achieving good water status or no-deterioration in water status as a consequence of the identified pressures, such as abstraction.
  • Integrating the impacts of climate change when identifying and appraising the Programme of Measures and proposing appropriate adaptation of actions
    where necessary.
  • looking for opportunities in the monitoring programme to improve our
    understanding of climate change trends.
  • Considerable effort is underway to improve our understanding of present changes in climate and of likely changes in the future. Notwithstanding the high levels of uncertainty involved, predictions have been made that allow broad ranges of impacts to be considered. Changes in the next twenty to forty years are more
    readily identified than longer-term changes that depend on many social and political assumptions.

Current predictions for Ireland indicate that climate issues may be relatively significant for measures related to:

  • protected areas and high-status sites,
  • abstractions, and
  • physical modifications to river and marine morphology.

Considerations also arise for point-source discharges and diffuse landuse pressures such as agriculture, forestry and unsewered systems. Sensitivity for dangerous substances pressure is likely to be low.

The study identified that the Programme of Measures can be flexible and adaptable to potential future climate change, in terms of temperature, storm surge, floods and droughts. In fact, many contribute to national adaptation strategies. The analysis highlights the advantages of an integrated catchment-based approach to water management. It contributes to adaptation strategy and strengthens future science/policy link on climate change and water by identifying research needs, communicating them to the research community and making best use of available research results.

Adapting the Plan to Climate Change.pdf  Download  


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 4,829 water bodies, looking at trends and changes, determining which waterbodies are at risk and what could be causing this, and drafting environmental objectives and measures 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 that will be implemented after public consultation and sign off by the Minister.