For water, a catchment is an area of land where water is collected by the natural landscape and flows from source though rivers, lakes and groundwater to the sea. Living in a catchment that has healthy waters can help a community to have a better quality of life.
A healthy water catchment provides high-quality drinking water and supports livelihoods like agriculture, recreational angling and water sports. It also supports local ecosystems so that humans, plants, animals, fish and insects that all depend on having healthy water can thrive and flourish.
You can also download a PDF of Water: educational resources and inspirational stories.
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.
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.
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.
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.