River Basin Management Plans

River Basin Management Planning takes an integrated approach to the protection, improvement and sustainable management of the water environment.  The planning process revolves around a six year planning cycle of action and review, so that every six years a revised river basin management plan is produced.

1st Cycle River Basin Management Plans: 2009-2014

River Basin Management Plans (RBMP) and Programmes of Measures (PoMs) were prepared for each of the eight River Basin Districts (RBDs). They were valid for a six year period and ran from 2009-2014. The plans summarised the waterbodies that may not meet the environmental objectives of the WFD by 2015 and identified which pressures are contributing to the environmental objectives not being achieved. The plans described the classification results and identified measures that can be introduced in order to safeguard waters and meet the environmental objectives of the WFD. 

An overview of the status of all waterbodies is published in compliance with the requirements of the Water Framework Directive and is available in the WaterMaps section of the official Irish Water Framework website. The water maps provide details on the overall status of individual waterbodies and also the assessment results for different quality elements e.g. chemistry, macroinvertebrates, plants, fish, hydromorphology, etc. The water maps also indicate which programmes of measures have been assigned to water bodies and the timescale by which a waterbody has to achieve its target status.

2nd Cycle River Basin Mangement Plans: 2015-2021

Preparation of the 2nd Cycle RBMPs is now underway.

2nd Cycle Timetable:

  • July 2014: DECLG publish the draft timetable and consultation arrangements for development of the second cycle RBMPs. This consultation presents a draft timetable and work programme for the production of the second cycle plans and also seeks views on how the process of developing and implementing the plans could be improved.
  • July 2015-December 2015: Significant water management issues (SWMIs) consultation for second cycle RBMPs, led by the Local Authorities at regional level. In this stage of development, an interim overview of the significant water management issues for each of the RBDs will be presented and you will be asked for your views on what you think are the most significant issues to be addressed in the River Basin Management Plan.
  • December 2016 - June 2017: Draft second cycle River Basin Management Plan consultation,led by the local authorities at regional level.The draft second cycle RBMPs setting out the status of waters in the RBD; the proposed environmental objectives and the draft programme of measures to achieve those objectives by 2021, will be issued for your views and comments at this stage.

Changes to River Basin Districts for the 2nd Cycle

For the 2nd Cycle, the Eastern, South Eastern, South Western, Western and Shannon River Basin Districts will be merged to form one national River Basin District.  In relation to the North Western and Neagh Bann International River Basin Districts a single administrative area will be established in the Republic of Ireland portion of these two IRBDs for the purpose of coordinating their management with authorities in Northern Ireland

While this rearrangement will lead to efficiencies in relation to matters such as assessment and reporting, regionalised administrative structures will be put in place to support implementation (e.g. river basin district characterisation, the development of programmes of measures, enforcement, public consultation and awareness activities).  Arrangements will also need to be put in place to facilitate the input of communities at local catchment level.

 WFD 2nd Cycle River Basin Districts

Figure 1: River Basin Districts for the 2nd Cycle of the WFD (2015-2021)