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

For the first time, the NWRP will provide a country-wide analysis to identify the water we have, the water we use, the water we need and any potential risk to water quality. It sets out the methods and options to meet these shortfalls in a resilient and environmentally sustainable way and is accompanied by a Strategic Environmental Assessment Environmental Report and Natura Impact Statement, which looks at how our Plan considers its impact on the environment

The National Water Resources Plan will;

  • calculate the demand for water from homes, businesses, and industry now and into the future,
  • assess the amount of water available in existing supplies,
  • assess the impact of weather events such as drought on our water supplies,
  • identify areas where is not enough water supply to meet demand or where there is a risk to water quality.

Commenting on the NWRP draft Framework Plan, Sean Laffey, Head of Asset Management with Irish Water said, “Our infrastructure is under increasing pressure to meet the current demand for water as a result of population growth, climate change, and our changing environment. To prevent unplanned water outages, water conservation orders, reductions in pressure or restrictions to water supplies, we have to plan ahead. Irish Water’s first National Water Resources Plan will enable us to do that in a sustainable way whilst also supporting economic and population growth. The National Planning Framework (NPF), the key strategic plan for shaping the future growth and development of Ireland out to the year 2040, anticipates a population increase of 1 million people and the creation of 660,000 net new jobs in the economy by 2040.It is estimated that 34,000 houses will have to be built each year for the next decade just to meet demand of our growing population . Over 380,000 jobs are supported directly by foreign and direct investment, many of which are in water intensive industries such as manufacturing and pharmaceuticals. How we choose to plan our water resources today will determine the water supply we can provide now and into the future. We are inviting the public to play a role in shaping how we plan our water supply now and into the future by making a submission to this consultation process”.

A 10-week public consultation will seek feedback on the NWRP Draft Framework Plan and associated environmental reports from the 8th December until the 16th February 2021. Following this consultation period we will finalise and adopt the Framework Plan, and commence the Phase 2 development of four Regional Water Resources Plans which will set out the options to address identified needs across all of our supplies. We will be again be seeking the public’s views as each of the Regional Plans will be subject to public consultation.

The reports can also be viewed online and downloaded at www.water.ie/nwrp and comments and feedback sent to Irish Water as follows:

Email: nwrp@water.ie

Post: National Water Resources Plan, Irish Water, PO Box 13216, Glenageary, Co. Dublin

The documents can also be viewed at your local authority's (LA) planning office or County Library (depending on LA) during their normal opening hours for ten weeks ending on Tuesday the 16 February. For more information please visit www.water.ie/nwrp 

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