Catchment News

Public Consultation: Significant Water Management Issues for Ireland’s 2022-2027 River Basin Management Plan

The Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (DHPLG) has published a document outlining the Significant Water Management Issues for the third River Basin Management Plan for Ireland for public consultation.

Why is this consultation being launched?

Ireland is currently in the early stages of preparing the third cycle River Basin Management Plan (RBMP) under the Water Framework Directive.

As part of this process the DHPLG are required to publish a consultation document that sets out their understanding of the Significant Water Management Issues that need to be addressed in the period 2022 – 2027.

The purpose of this consultation phase is to gather your views on what are considered to be the significant water management issues for Ireland which should be addressed in the planning process for the next RBMP. 

What are The Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government looking for?

Deciding what to do about the significant water management issues is not something that the DHPLG can do on their own. All sectors need to play their part, to ensure the most appropriate actions are taken.

You are invited to provide your views on the significant issues identified, suggest additional actions that may be taken to address the issues and to identify any additional issues that may need to be addressed in the third River Basin Management Plan.

In seeking your views on the Significant Water Management Issues and their potential solutions, the DHPLG have set out a number of specific questions in relation to each of the challenges outlined in the consultation document, a copy of which is available for download from the DHPLG.

By responding, you will be helping to shape the overall management of the water environment. The information gathered will help us prepare for the next cycle of the River Basin Management Plans, by influencing the content of the draft plan due to be published by December 2021.

How to get involved?

When replying to this consultation, it would be of assistance if you could respond online at

This will allow you to make your comments more effectively, while helping us to gather and summarise responses quickly and accurately.

However, if you would like to respond in another way, a consultation response template can be downloaded from

Completed templates should be emailed to

Alternatively, responses can be made in writing to:

SWMI Consultation
Water Advisory Unit
Department of Housing Planning and Local Government
Custom House
Dublin 1
D01 W6X0

You do not have to respond to every question in the consultation. If you have a specific area of interest, you are free to respond to just those questions.

The consultation period closes on Friday, 26 June 2020.  

Receipt of submissions will be acknowledged but it will not be possible to issue individual responses.

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.