National Water Resources Plan (NWRP)
The NWRP is our plan to identify how we will provide a safe, sustainable, secure and reliable water supply to our customers for now and into the future whilst safeguarding the environment.
The NWRP sets out how we will balance the supply and demand for drinking water over the short, medium and long term. It is a 25-year strategy to ensure we have a safe, sustainable, secure and reliable drinking water supply for everyone.
Following on from the public consultation on Phase 1 NWRP draft Framework Plan and associated environmental reports, the submissions and observations received from public consultation have been taken into consideration, and the NWRP Framework Plan updated.
The NWRP Framework Plan has now been adopted, accompanied by a Strategic Environmental Assessment Statement and an Appropriate Assessment Determination. A Consultation Report summarising feedback received during the public consultation has also been published.
NWRP Framework Plan Publications
- NWRP Framework Plan
- NWRP Framework Plan - Non-Technical Summary (NTS)
- Appendix A - Consultation
- Appendix B - Planning Scenarios
- Appendix C - Supply Assessment
- Appendix D - Level of Service
- Appendix E - Drought Planning
- Appendix F - Climate Change
- Appendix G - Licensing Constraints
- Appendix H - SELL Report
- Appendix I - Headroom
- Appendix J - Barriers
- Appendix K - Residuals
- Appendix L - SDB Summaries
- Appendix M - Environmental Costing
- Appendix N - Fine Screening
Regional Water Resource Plans
As this is the first NWRP, the preparation of the plan has been divided into two distinct phases, the combination of which will become the final NWRP. As outlined above, Phase 1 was carried out in 2021 and the NWRP Framework has been adopted. In Phase 2 of the NWRP, we summarise the needs across the 535 individual water supplies and identify the solutions to address these needs. Due to the large number of supplies in Ireland, we will deliver Phase 2 as four Regional Water Resources Plans:
- Regional Water Resources Plan: North West (RWRP NW)
- Regional Water Resources Plan: South West (RWRP SW)
- Regional Water Resources Plan: South East (RWRP SE)
- Regional Water Resources Plan: Eastern and Midlands (RWRP EM)
Each of the four draft RWRPs and associated environmental reports will have their own public consultation phases and these are be carried out over the course of 2021, 2022 and 2023.
A consultation on the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Scoping Report for the first Regional Water Resources Plan: Eastern and Midlands has taken place. A statutory public consultation on The Regional Water Resources Plan: Eastern and Midlands ran from 14 December 2021 to 8 April 2022. Following on from this, the RWRP-EM and associated environment reports have been updated and adopted. A consultation report has also been published and is available to view and download on the RWRP-EM page.
A consultation on the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Scoping Report for the Regional Water Resources Plan: South West has also taken place. A statutory public consultation on the Regional Water Resources Plan – South West ran from 01 June 2022 to 24 August 2022. Our teams are now reviewing feedback and preparing a consultation report.
A consultation on the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Scoping Report for the first Regional Water Resources Plan – North West (RWRP-NW) took place in June 2022 and is now complete. A statutory public consultation on the RWRP-NW will take place in the coming months.
The final consultation on the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Scoping Report for the Regional Water Resources Plan: South East (RWRP-SE), as well as a statutory public consultation on the RWRP-SE, will take place early in 2023.
Why do we need a National Water Resources Plan?
Ireland is not a water stressed country. We need to operate our water network to cater for growth and optimise this great natural resource. Water is part of our everyday lives. It is essential to everything we do. Recent droughts and storms have left some customers with no water or reduced water, including a water conservation order (hosepipe ban) for the first time in Ireland.
To prevent this happening in the future we have to plan ahead. How we plan our water resources today will determine the water we can provide now and into the future. Irish Water’s first National Water Resources Plan outlines how we can do this.
Irish Water aims to ensure that all of our customers have a safe and reliable drinking water supply and to safeguard our water for our future. Our plan is to use a three-pillar approach:
1. Lose Less
To lose less by reducing the amount of water lost through leakage.
2. Use Less
To use less by encouraging us all to use less water in our everyday lives, improving water efficiency in our homes, businesses, farms and through our own operations.
3. Supply Smarter
To supply smarter by improving the quality, resilience and security of our water supplies through infrastructure and operations improvements and developing new sustainable sources of water.
What is the benefit of the National Water Resources Plan?
The National Water Resources Plan will:
The Framework Plan considers:
What we are consulting on now?
Phase 2 NWRP Regional Water Resources Plans
Public consultation is a key element in ensuring members of the public and all interested parties have the chance to be part of the development of the NWRP. As this is our first NWRP, we divided it into two distinct phases, the combination of which will form our overall NWRP. Phase 1 NWRP Framework Plan is now complete and comprised an initial scoping and screening consultation, followed by statutory consultation on the draft Framework Plan, which was subject to Strategic Environmental Assessment and Appropriate Assessment. We have now published the NWRP Framework Plan, SEA Statement and AA Determination. We have also published a Consultation two report relative to the submissions received on the draft Framework Plan. These reports demonstrate how environmental considerations have shaped and helped in the development of the NWRP Framework Plan. Phase 2 NWRP - Regional Water Resources Plans comprises the development of four Regional Water Resources Plans (RWRPs) each of which will be subject to SEA and AA. Each of the four draft RWRPs and associated environmental reports will have their own public consultation phases.
You can find out more about the RWRP EM and the RWRP SW
Non statutory and statutory consultations on the RWRP NW and RWRP SE will take place later in 2022 and in early 2023.
Phase 1 – NWRP Framework Plan - Consultation one
A first round of public consultation to inform the development of the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and Appropriate Assessment (AA), of the NWRP, took place from 9 November to 22 December 2017. For more information, view the Consultation one information leaflet.
We asked for feedback on the SEA Scoping Report and invited comments and suggestions for consideration at this stage.
A Consultation one report summarising the feedback received in the first round of consultation can be viewed here.
Subsequent to this process and informed by it, a draft NWRP Framework Plan with accompanying environmental reports were prepared and published for consultation.
Phase 1 – NWRP Framework Plan - Consultation two
The NWRP draft Framework Plan identified how we proposed to assess needs across all of our water supplies, and the process and methodology that we would use to find solutions to address those needs.
Consultation two invited feedback on the NWRP draft Framework Plan and associated SEA Environmental Report and Natura Impact Statement (NIS). A fourteen-week statutory public consultation took place from Tuesday 8 December 2020 to Friday 12 March 2021 during which time the NWRP draft Framework Plan and associated environmental reports were available to view and download at www.water.ie/nwrp and at local authority's planning offices or county libraries (depending on the local authority) during their normal opening hours. For more information, view the Consultation two information leaflet.
Following on from this public consultation the submissions and observations received have been taken into consideration, and the draft Framework Plan updated.
The NWRP Framework Plan has now been adopted, accompanied by a Strategic Environmental Assessment Statement and an Appropriate Assessment Determination.
A Consultation two report summarising the feedback received during Consultation two can be viewed here. This completes Phase 1- NWRP Framework Plan and means we can move to Phase 2 NWRP – Regional Water Resources Plans.
What are the next steps?
- The next phase of the NWRP, Phase 2, comprises the development of the four RWRPs to identify the combination of Preferred Approaches within and between regions to address the needs identified in the Framework Plan.
- Each of the RWRPs will be subject to Strategic Environmental Assessment and Appropriate Assessment, including their cumulative impacts. Each of the four regions will also have their own public consultation phases. These public consultations will take place throughout 2021 and into 2022.
- The scoping and screening consultation on the RWRP - Eastern and Midlands has been undertaken.
- Statutory public consultation on the draft RWRP EM took place from 14 December 2021 to 8 April 2022. That public consultation was carried out in a manner similar to the NWRP - Framework Plan.
- The scoping and screening consultation with environmental authorities on the RWRP South West is complete.
- The remaining three RWRPs, the North West, South West and South East, will be consulted on in the same way, comprising both non- statutory screening and scoping consultation with environmental authorities, followed by statutory public consultations, throughout 2022.
- This will be your opportunity to feed into the process of how we:
- Identify the issues in your area;
- Determine what the opportunities are for the water supply in your area; and
- Develop options to address any problems identified.
- Now we have developed a robust NWRP Framework Plan we can proceed to identify issues and solutions in the Regional Plan for your area. We will be asking for your feedback on our Regional solutions over the coming months and you will have an opportunity to contribute to their development. This is your opportunity to feed into the process of how we identify the issues in and determine what the opportunities are for the water supply in your area, and ensure that this is done in a manner consistent with our environmental obligations.
- Allow us to apply it more efficiently on a local level which is more relevant to you, our customer.