Catchment News

Help design a participation framework for Ireland’s Water Catchment Community Forums

Active community participation in the protection and restoration of our natural waters is vital – would you like to be part of a process designing a new water catchment-based community participation framework in Ireland? 

The draft River Basin Management Plan for 2022-2027 has asked the Local Authority Waters Programme (LAWPRO) to examine ways in which further support can be provided for the formation and capacity building of local forums to help identify and implement measures.  

Discussion is essential with community representatives, as well as with other stakeholders, to get a clear understanding of the possible role of local forums called Catchment Community Forums, and how they could be established over time in each of the 46 catchments in Ireland.  

To examine this there will be a phased process:

  • Phase 1 (2023): A scoping phase that will allow for synergies with existing structures and proposed new ones such as the PPNs, Biodiversity and Climate forums, to be examined in detail so that there is no duplication of effort.  It will harness the experience, views, and differences in the community landscape in five catchments across Ireland through a series of workshops proposed to be held in the Autumn of 2023.  It is not intended to formally establish forums in the 5 pilot catchments in 2023.
    • Workshop: Introduction to the Catchment Community Forums & RBMP 2022 – 2027
      • Need for the forum – the why 
      • Explore the membership & representation (sectoral plus geographical)
      • Role and objectives of the forum
      • Interaction with other structures and forums e.g., Climate, Biodiversity, Heritage etc.
      • Possible operational structures – how it will operate?
      • Funding supports needed
  • Phase 2 (end 2023 & 2024): Establish a committee to design a framework for the establishment in 2024 of a Community Forum in each of the 5 pilot hydrometric catchments based on Stakeholder feedback from the workshops and any other relevant reports.  Once framework is agreed with the DHLGH then a Forum rollout will be planned in 2024.

Learn more:

You can register your interest in taking part on the LA Waters website:

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.