Catchment News

Speakers announced for the EPA Water Conference on 16 and 17 June 2021

This year’s EPA Water Conference will be held online on 16 & 17 June 2021. This year’s theme is Water: integrating policy and practice. The conference is open to the public and there is no cost to attend.

Expert speakers will share their knowledge on how to protect & improve water quality in Ireland.

There will be opportunities to network, communicate with fellow attendees and participate in polling and Q&A sessions. There will be a panel discussion with questions and answers moderated by Tom Collins, An Fórum Uisce, on the second day.


You can register for free now at

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Water Conference Programme

Download the 2021 EPA Water Conference Programme PDF

Wednesday 16 JuneDay 1Chair: Dr Eimear Cotter, Director, EPA Office of Evidence and Assessment
09:15Log in to conference
09:30Welcome and introduction
Session 1: Setting the Scene
09:35Opening addressLaura Burke, EPA Director-General
09:50Integrating water and environment policy and protection Dr Stéphane Isoard Head of Group, Water and Marine, European Environment Agency
10:10Ireland’s third River Basin Management PlanFeargal Ó’Coigligh, Assistant Secretary, Water Division, Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage
10:30Water governance in Ireland: a review of structures and processes Dr Richard Boyle, Independent Research Consultant
11:10Coffee Break
Session 2: Opportunities for multiple benefits
11:40Valuing ecosystemsProf. Jane Stout, Professor in Botany, Trinity College Dublin
12:00Managing Ireland’s marine resources – the benefits of an integrated approachCaitríona Nic Aonghusa, Section Manager for Marine Spatial Planning & Marine Strategy Framework Directive, Marine Institute
12:20Opportunities for water quality from bog rehabilitationEnda McDonagh, Environmental Manager, Bord na Móna
13:00Close of Day 1
Thursday 17 JuneDay 2Chair: Mary Gurrie, Water Progamme Manager, EPA Office of Evidence and Assessment
09:00Log in to conference
09:15Welcome and introduction
Session 3: Looking forward – pressures and solutions
09:20Standardisation of National Climate Services: supporting water decision makingKeith Lambkin, Senior Climatologist, Met Éireann
09:35What does the new Drinking Water Directive mean for water protection?Dr Michelle Minihan, Senior Inspector, Drinking Water, EPA Office of Environmental Enforcement
09:50Securing drinking water supplies into the futureAngela Ryan, Water Resources Specialist, Irish Water
10:05AgriFood 2030: the future for agricultureTom Arnold, Chair, 2030 Agri-Food Strategy Committee
10:45Tea/Coffee break
Session 4: Working with communities: valuing water
11:15Communities and water: a vision for the futureBernie O’Flaherty, Regional Coordinator, Local Authority Waters Programme
11:30Behavioural change: learning from SEAI’s work with communitiesRuth Buggie, Sustainable Energy Communities Programme Manager, Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland
11:45The All-Ireland Pollinator Plan: sharing stories to change behaviourDr Úna FitzPatrick, Chair of the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan, National Biodiversity Data Centre
12:00Citizen Science: DCU’s Water BlitzDr Susan Hegarty, Dublin City University Water Institute
12:15Panel discussion with questions and answersChair: Professor Tom Collins, Chair, An Fóram Uisce / The Water Forum
12:50Summary & closing remarksDr Tom Ryan, Director, EPA Office of Environmental Enforcement
13:00Close of day 2

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.