Draft River Basin Management Plan 2022 – 2027

The draft River Basin Management Plan for the third cycle was published in September 2021 and was out on public consultation until March 31st 2022.

SWAN’s submission to the public consultation is available below:
SWAN Response to 3rd River Basin Management Plan (RBMP) Consultation

SWAN’s key recommendations for the River Basin Management Plan are:

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We are also running a campaign to get our key recommendations adopted in the plan. Find out more on our campaign page.

Significant Water Management Issues

Before drafting the third RBMP, the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government ran a public consultation to identify key pressures or ‘significant water management issues’ (SWMIs) currently impacting water bodies in Ireland. This was a crucial process because if the pressures faced by our waterbodies aren’t accurately identified, it would be impossible to determine the appropriate solutions and measures needed to address them and turn the tide of deterioration. SWAN drafted a substantial submission examining key significant water management issues. 

Three key issues raised by SWAN include: 

  • a failure of the Significant Water Management Issues consultation document to clearly, transparently and objectively set out all the significant water management issues facing the state, to provide a solid information base on which subsequent work on the draft river basin management plans is built.
  • the flawed prioritisation approach taken in the second cycle River Basin Management Plan and proposed for the third. This approach results in the majority of waterbodies which are currently failing WFD standards (or ‘at risk’ of doing so) NOT being targeted with specific measures during the third RBMP and so continuing to fail to achieve WFD objectives.
  • Lack of effective water governance, with no single body having ultimate responsibility for implementation of the River Basin Management Plan

View SWAN’s full submission to the SWMI consultation here.