Catchment News

The Water Forum – webinar on public participation in catchment management

The Water Forum is hosting a webinar on 3 February 2022 from 10:00 – 12:30 to discuss best practice in public participation in catchment management and why such engagement is essential to achieve the transformative changes necessary in the next decade for water, biodiversity and climate.

The Water Forum, a stakeholder body comprising individuals, environmental organisations, community groups and businesses who advise the Minister on water policy, is an advocate for the need for public participation and engagement in catchment management. Meaningful public engagement provides groups, businesses and individuals with an opportunity to input to the development and implementation of environmental actions at local catchment level for water, biodiversity and climate outcomes.

The Water Forum will host a webinar on 3 February at 10am to discuss how the gap can be bridged between the national policies and plans and the desire among citizens to deliver outcomes for the natural environment. Academics will present research on best practice in public participation and tools for delivering such participative and deliberative democracy programmes.

Organisations and community groups already involved in developing and delivering water and biodiversity plans and actions at local level will discuss their learnings and what further supports and frameworks will be required to achieve real progress towards meeting the objectives of national policies which impact water, biodiversity and climate.

‘The Forum would like to encourage anyone with a role in public participation, or who would like to learn more about approaches to public engagement for environmental outcomes, to attend the webinar’.

Connie Rochford, Water Forum member and acting Chair


You can register for this event online


10:00Welcome and introduction to the day
Session 1: Public participation for water quality, climate change mitigation and biodiversity
10:05The Framework for Integrated Land and Landscape Management FILLM; Gretta McCarron
10:15An introduction to best practice in public participation; Dr Patrick Bresnihan, Maynooth University
10:30Participatory and deliberative approaches to climate mitigation – Imagining 2050 project; Dr Clodagh Harris, UCC
10:45Deliberative democracy tools – Imagining 2050 project; Dr Alexandra Reves, UCC
11:00Panel discussion and Q&A
11:25Break and POLL
Session 2: Public participation in practice
11:30Learnings from Ballinderry & Oriel Rivers and Coastal Catchment Association; Mark Horton, Rivers Trust Ireland
11:40Roles of Catchment communities in protecting water, nature and heritage; Micheál O’Cinneide, Corrib Beo
  11:50Using biodiversity to engage communities on catchment actions; Sean Corrigan, National Federation of Group Water Schemes
12:00Enabling community engagement and participation, learnings from the second cycle; Fran Igoe, LAWPRO
12:10Panel discussion and Q&A POLL Results
12:25Closing address

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.