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Minister Alan Kelly launches public consultation on Significant Water Management Issues in Ireland (SWMI)


Mr. Alan Kelly T.D., Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, today (Wednesday the 17th of June, 2015) launched a public consultation on the Significant Water Management Issues for Ireland to be addressed in the second round of River Basin Management Plans. These plans, which will be in place by end-2017, will set out the environmental goals to be achieved by end-2021 together with the measures needed to ensure that they are delivered in practice.

Speaking at the launch of the SWMI consultation document today at the EPA National Water Event in Galway, the Minister said "the protection of water quality is in everyone's interest - agriculture, industry, tourism and public health. River basin management planning is a tried and trusted tool for doing this".

The Minister went on to say "we have learned a lot from the first round of Plans and we need to build on that in the second round. This document outlines what we believe are the key significant water management issues to be addressed and I hope that we will have a robust consultation process now on these issues. "We must have a national conversation about how we can keep source water as clean as possible and it is vital that we come to a broad consensus on the fundamental issues so we can systematically address them".

Copies of the can be downloaded from the Department's website consultation document here. Submissions can be made by email to here. or by sending a written response to "WFD SWMI Consultation, Water Quality Section, Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, Newtown Road, Wexford". The final date for responses in respect of this consultation is 18 December 2015.

Submissions received in response to this consultation will be taken into account in the preparation of draft river basin management plans. In addition, the draft plans will be published for further public consultation in 2016, after which final river basin management plans will be adopted by the Minister and published in 2017; those plans will run to 2021.


Welcome to our website which seeks to provide information on the North Western International River Basin District and also the NS SHARE project. We will present project reports and interactive maps here to allow the visitor have access to information about their area and the implementation of the Water Framework Directive.

This project is supported by the EU INTERREG IIIA Programme for Ireland/Northern Ireland.

Interactive map showing the River Basin Districts
North Western International River Basin District Neagh Bann International River Basin District North Eastern River Basin District

About the North Western region

The North Western river basin district covers the north west corner of the island of Ireland, but stretches across in a south easterly direction to a large extent also taking in much of the drumlin belt that stretches through many of the border counties - from south Donegal, through Leitrim, Fermanagh, Longford, Cavan, Monaghan, and onwards. Major rivers and lakes include the Erne system, which supports boating and leisure tourism as well as some hydroelectric power generation, to the River Finn and Foyle systems that drain much of the mountains of Donegal and the Sperrin mountains. Angling and sea fisheries are important aspects of the area, with the largest sea port in Ireland being at Killybegs on the Donegal coast. Water too supports the large agricultural area across the District and played an important role in the cotton industry of past times.

The North Western River Basin District

The North Western International River Basin District (RBD) is one of three RBDs that together form the North South Shared Aquatic Resource (NS Share) Project. This project is supported by the EU INTERREG IIIA Programme for Ireland/Northern Ireland. It was set up to implement the objectives of the Water Framework Directive in the region. This Directive is the most substantial and innovative piece of European Union water legislation to date. It sets out a detailed framework for the protection, improvement and sustainable use of our waters.

Image of a river Image of Mount Errigal Image of a boat at pier