National and international experience shows that working together in partnership with local communities and public bodies is the best way to protect and improve our water. It also helps to make sure local communities’ livelihoods and health are sustained and protected into the future.
To effectively manage our catchments, bottom-up and top-down collaboration is necessary. In other words, everyone involved – from government agencies to local communities and individuals – needs to share knowledge and information.
Catchments.ie will highlight stories from around Ireland showing how we can manage our rivers, lakes and coastal waters, and share the science and information needed to help people make decisions. The site is designed to function as a hub, so anyone interested in getting involved can get all the information they need in one place.
This website has been established by Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, the Environmental Protection Agency and the new Local Authority Waters and Communities Office.
Understanding our catchments means we need to understand and integrate a huge range of information. For example, we need to gather information about how people are using the water, including water for drinking, for agriculture, for industrial use and for bathing. We also need to understand the geography and geology of an area, looking at how all the water bodies are connected both above and below ground. Also, we need to examine how the water flows from where it falls as rain to the sea; how people use the land and waterbodies, and what livelihoods are supported. We also need to gather information about possible sources of pollution, including urban waste water treatment plants, septic tanks, and runoff from farming, forestry and landfills.
To help manage our water, a draft national River Basin Management Plan has been published. A full public consultation ended on 31 August 2017, and the final version of the plan is expected to be published in early 2018.
Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management
The Office of Public Works (OPW) is the lead agency for flood risk management in Ireland and is the national competent authority for the EU Floods Directive. Accordingly, the OPW is responsible for Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management programme. They work in partnership with all local authorities to achieve the objectives of the programme throughout the country.
This programme is central to the medium to long-term strategy for reducing and managing flood risk in Ireland.
The programme targets the core components of the National Flood Policy, adopted in 2004, and the requirements of the EU Floods Directive. Similar programmes are being carried out across the European Union, and the programme is also being run with close cross-border co-ordination.
Implementing the requirements of the EU Floods Directive is being coordinated with the requirements of the EU Water Framework Directive and the current River Basin Management Plans.
Further information is available on www.cfram.ie