Irish Water progressing development of the Regional Water Resources Plan – Eastern and Midlands

04 October 2022

Irish Water has adopted the Regional Water Resources Plan – Eastern and Midlands (RWRP-EM), which will safeguard public health, support growth and meet the challenges of climate change across the East and Midlands region over the next 25 years. 

The National Water Resources Plan (NWRP) is Ireland’s first 25-year strategic plan enabling us to move towards safe, secure, reliable, and sustainable public water supplies for all of our customers and communities, whilst safeguarding public health and the environment. 

Following on from the adoption of the NWRP draft Framework Plan and associated reports in 2021, the NWRP was split into 4 separate regional plans and following a public consultation on the first regional plan, the RWRP-EM has been updated and adopted by Irish Water along with a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Statement and an Appropriate Assessment Determination. 

A consultation report summarising feedback received during the public consultation, along with the RWRP-EM and all associated reports, can be viewed and downloaded at https://www.water.ie/rwrp/eastern-midlands. Alternatively, our team can be contacted at nwrp@water.ie or 1840 46 36 76, by those who may wish to view the RWRP-EM, AA Determination and SEA statement at one of our Offices.

Commenting on the RWRP-EM final Framework Plan, Máiréad Conlon, Regional Water Treatment Planning Specialist with Irish Water, said, “Safeguarding Ireland’s precious water resources is a top priority for Irish Water. With increasing pressure to meet the current demand for water as a result of population growth, climate change, and our changing environmental regulations, it is essential that we plan ahead. The Regional Water Resources Plan – Eastern and Midlands will enable us to do that in a sustainable way, whilst also supporting economic development and population growth across the region.

How we choose to plan our water resources today will determine the water supply we can provide now and into the future. The Three Pillar approach of ‘Use Less’, ‘Lose Less’ and ‘Supply Smarter’ allows Irish Water to consider the broadest possible range of solutions through the development of the regional plans. We would like to thank everyone who made a submission to the consultation process on the first of our regional plans for the East and Midlands, which has now been adopted.

There were 64 submissions received in total, including responses from the Office of the Planning Regulator, the Southern Regional Assembly and local authorities in relation to national and regional policy for growth and development.

The public consultation ran from 14 December 2021 to 8 April 2022. Printed copies of the public consultation materials were available for public display in 29 local authority offices and at two county libraries for the duration of the consultation period. Irish Water also facilitated webinars for interested members of the public and both webinars and in-person briefings for elected representatives.

Phase 2 of the NWRP comprises the development of four Regional Water Resources Plans (RWRPs):

  • Regional Water Resources Plan - Eastern & Midlands 
  • Regional Water Resources Plan - North West
  • Regional Water Resources Plan - South West 
  • Regional Water Resources Plan - South East

Each regional plan will comprise of both a non-statutory screening and scoping consultation with environmental authorities, followed by a statutory public consultation.

Consultation on the Regional Water Resources Plan - Eastern & Midlands is now complete and the plan has been updated and adopted. Consultation on the Regional Water Resources Plan – South West took place between 01 June 2022 and 24 August 2021 and our teams are now working on the post consultation analysis. Consultation on the last two regional plans for the North West and South East will take place later in 2022 and in 2023.