Catchment News

Register of Protected Areas 2009-2015

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Total Files5
Size1.01 MB
Create Date29th August 2009
Last Updated

Protected areas are identified as those requiring special protection under existing national or European legislation, either to protect their surface water or groundwater, or to conserve habitats or species that directly depend on those waters.

The register consists of an inventory of protected area sites representing the protected area categories outlined below:

  • Waters used for the abstraction of drinking water - This is a new category of protected area which will replace the system of drinking water protection currently provided by the Surface Water Abstraction Directive (75/440/EEC) and will also incorporate groundwaters. This older Directive will be repealed at the end of 2007.
  • Areas designated to protect economically significant aquatic species - These are protected areas established under earlier EC directives aimed at protecting shellfish (79/923/EEC) and freshwater fish (78/659/EEC).
  • Recreational Waters - These are bathing waters designated under the Bathing Water Directive (76/160/EEC).
  • Nutrient Sensitive Areas - These comprise nitrate vulnerable zones designated under the Nitrates Directive (91/676/EEC) and areas designated as sensitive under the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive (91/271/EEC).
  • Areas designated for the protection of habitats or species - These are areas designated for the protection of habitats or species where the maintenance or improvement of the status of water is an important factor in their protection. These are designated under the Birds Directive (79/409/EEC) and the Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC).

Species_and_Habitats.xls  Download  
Recreational_Waters.xls  Download  
Nutrient_Sensitive_Areas.xls  Download  
Economically_significant_aquatic_species.xls  Download  
Drinking_Waters.xls  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 4,842 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.