Mr. Simon Coveney T.D. Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government has published the draft River Basin Management Plan for Ireland 2018-2021 and is inviting submissions, observations and comments on the proposed plans during a six month public consultation process.

Why a Public Consultation?

Work will continue throughout 2017 in completing the characterisation of the River Basin District and on further developing the proposed measures outlined in the draft plan. This work will also be informed by the views of respondees to this consultation process. It is intended to publish the final approved River Basin Management Plan by December 2017.

A copy of the draft River Basin Management Plan, together with the associated Environmental Report and Natura Impact Statement and a leaflet and infographic explaining the draft plan, may be accessed by clicking on the link below titled ‘Documents’.

How to get involved?

Interested parties are invited to make written submissions or comments to help inform the development of the final plans no later than 5.30pm on Thursday, 31st August 2017.

Responses should be submitted by email, preferably in ‘word’ format, to RBMP@housing.gov.ie  

Alternatively, responses can be posted to:

River Basin Management Plan Consultation, Water and Marine Advisory Unit Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government, Custom House, Dublin 1, D01 W6X0.

A request for a paper version of the draft plan, or any queries concerning this consultation can also be sent to the above email or postal addresses.

The newly-established Local Authority Water Communities Office (LAWCO) is responsible for engaging and consulting on the draft RBMP at local level. It is currently holding public information meetings throughout the country about the plan. It is gathering views – at public meetings, from emails, by phone or in person – on local or regional water quality issues.

To find out about the public meetings, to give your views on local, regional or national issues, or to find out about how you can get involved in protecting water quality, contact LAWCO on its website(link is external). The LAWCO officers are available to work with communities.

Documents:

To aid in the process of collating and considering all responses, and how they can best feed into finalizing the plan, the department would appreciate if responses are as concise as possible. For specific comments and inputs, responses should identify the issues being addressed, in line with the structure of the plan itself which broadly covers:

  1. Background and approach to developing the plan
  2. Review of the first cycle River Basin Management Plan
  3. Current state of the water environment & the catchment characterisation process
  4. Environmental objectives and priorities
  5. The proposed programme of measures
  6. Proposed measures for protected areas and high status waters
  7. Economic analysis
  8. Implementation strategy
  9. Communication and public engagement
  10. Water quality monitoring
  11. Expected outcomes

They welcome early responses to this consultation, which will facilitate them in considering how the final plan can best reflect the views expressed through this process.

Terms and Conditions

All submissions and comments submitted to the Department for this purpose are subject to release under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2014 and the European Communities (Access to Information on the Environment) Regulations 2007- 2014.Submissions are also subject to Data Protection legislation.

What will they with your comments?

Please note submissions and comments received may be published on their website unless otherwise requested. The onus is on persons making submissions not to include material of a private nature in the body of their submission.

How do you get information on water bodies?

www.catchments.ie(link is external) is a website that supports the ongoing work to protect and improve our natural water environment from a water quality perspective. It provides public information on rivers, lakes and coastal waters that has been gathered by the EPA and other bodies.

The website contains guidance, maps, data, resources, case studies and water related news from around Ireland. It demonstrates the joined-up governance approach now in place for the implementation of the Water Framework Directive in Ireland. You can also sign up for a quarterly Catchments Newsletter and for updates about relevant events in your county.