Draft Regional Water Resources Plan: Eastern and Midlands

Draft Regional Water Resources Plan – Eastern and Midlands

The development of the RWRP EM will allow Irish Water for the first time to review water supply needs collectively for the entire Eastern and Midlands Region and across the spectrum of risk including quality, quantity, reliability and sustainability. It allows us to consider local options to resolve these needs and larger Regional Options that can address needs across multiple supplies.

As part of the draft RWRP EM Irish Water will review needs across 134 water supplies and identify options to address these needs. The plan will allow us to consider local options that can resolve needs within individual supplies and regional options that can address needs across multiple supplies. The outcome of the draft RWRP EM includes:

  • Reducing the number of Water Resource Zones in the Eastern and Midlands Region from 134 to 93.
  • Development of larger interconnected Water Resource Zones for the urban areas in the region.
  • Upgrades to 136 existing water treatment plants, in terms of size and barrier performance.
  • Development of four new water treatment plants.
  • Decommissioning 66 water treatment plants.
  • Interconnecting 50 supplies via 860 kilometres of trunk mains.

Reducing leakage from the 2019 baseline of 38% of regional demand to 22% of regional demand. This represents a 45% reduction in leakage from 2019 to 2034. This is achieved through, pressure management, active leakage control, find and fix and asset replacement.

The outcomes and benefits of this Regional Preferred Approach include:

  • Improved performance across all of the water supplies in terms of quality and quantity.
  • Strategic transformation from the existing fragmented supply to a more resilient and sustainable interconnected supply.

Eastern and Midlands Region

The Region covers approximately 20,900 square kilometres extending from the Shannon Estuary in the south west, towards the large River Boyne catchment and Greater Dublin Area (GDA) in the north east. It is the primary economic region of Ireland containing Dublin (the capital city ) and Limerick City which provides more than 1 million jobs. The National Planning Framework (NPF), which underpins population growth that is economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable, has identified. Drogheda and Athlone as two Regional Centres in the Eastern and Midlands Region. They are supported by a strong network of key towns and provide secure employment and economic growth potential In the Eastern and Midlands region Irish Water supplies around 887 million litres of water per day to a population of 2.48 million people and 76,000 businesses. This represents more than 50% of Irish Waters total supply nationally.

Find your townland

A list of the cities, towns, villages, and townlands covered by this Regional plan is available in the links below. The information provided in the townlands, towns and settlement lists that are included in the Regional Water Resources Plan Eastern and Midlands are sourced from Ordnance Survey Ireland.

Regional planning areas

Study Area Technical Reports

To deliver the draft RWRP-EM, we subdivided the region into smaller units to enable us to manage the process of identifying potential water supply solutions (options) and the selection of our Preferred Approaches to resolve our water supply and water quality deficits. These smaller units are referred to as Study Areas.

A detailedTechnical Report is provided for each Study Area describing thesolution types at Study Area level and providing a summary of the detailed Option and Approach Development process and resulting outcomesfor each Study Area.

The Study Area technical reports are provided as appendices to the draft RWRP-EM document.

The Eastern and Midlands Region comprises nine Study Areas as shown in the image below.

The Eastern and Midlands Region comprises nine Study Areas as shown in the image.

How can I get involved?

Irish Water are now seeking feedback through public consultation on the draft RWRP: Eastern and Midlands and associated SEA Environmental Report and Natura Impact Statement.

A thirteen-week statutory consultation will run from the 14 December 2021 to 14 March 2022 during which time the draft RWRP Eastern and Midlands and associated environmental reports can be viewed and downloaded from the website and at your local authority’s planning office during their normal opening hours. Information on the consultation can be viewed on the RWRP EM consultation leaflet. This is your opportunity to feed into the process of how Irish Water identifies the issues in the region and determine what the opportunities are to provide a more resilient water supply in your area. Irish Water is also seeking your feedback on how it will develop options to address any problems identified, before applying them to specific areas.

Have your say

Any member of the public wishing to make a submission can do so by email or post as follows: by 14 March 2022

Email: nwrp@water.ie

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

Freephone: 1800 46 36 76

A dedicated helpline is available for anyone who would like to discuss any aspect of the consultation prior to making a submission.

All submissions will be taken into consideration and responses to the issues raised will be summarised in a Consultation Report which will be publishedin 2022.

Submissions will not be responded to individually, but each will be listed in the consultation report.Individual submissions will be reported anonymously and feedback from organisations will be attributed to them.

Feedback received outside the scope of the draft RWRP-EM and the associated environmental reports will not be considered as part of this public consultation process and will not be reported on. Any feedback in relation to in flight Irish Water projects, or in reference to any other area of the Irish Water business should be sent directly to those project teams’, unless applicable to how they are included in the RWRP-EM. Irish Water project contact details can be found here.

In line with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) effective from 25 May 2018, Irish Water’s updated Privacy Notice, is available to view online here.

RWRP Eastern and Midlands Public Consultation Roadmap

Find your local authority’s planning office

Hard copies of the draft RWRP EM and associated documents are available to view at Local Authority Planning offices by appointment. To find your nearest Local Authority’s planning office, please use the download link.

Draft Regional Water Resources Plan: Eastern and Midlands Publications

Draft Regional Water Resources Plan: Eastern and Midlands

Note: Two information files from the draft RWRP-EM have also been extracted from the documents for use by the EPA during the consultation process.

  1. “WTP Overview” which shows the consolidated Water Treatment Plant data for the region. A link to this has been provided on the website.
  2. “Proposed new and increased abstractions data for the Eastern Midlands Region”, which shows the consolidated Abstraction data for the region. In accordance with Article 8 2(a)(iii) Directive (EU) 2020/2184, the recast Drinking Water Directive which states that “geo-references for all abstraction points in the catchment areas; given that those data are potentially sensitive, in particular in the context of public health and public security, the Member States shall ensure that such data are protected and communicated only to the relevant authorities and water supplies”, this information will not be published.

Consultation Questions

In order to help members of the public or organisations in making a submission, and to ensure clarity on the scope of what we would like consultees to consider in their feedback, Irish Water is inviting submissions on the following specific consultation questions:

  1. The Eastern and Midlands Region baseline is discussed in section 2 of the draft RWRP- EM. Do you have any comments on the Eastern and Midlands Region or in respect of the population growth and economic development and how this is considered in our water resources planning approach?
  2. Within the Eastern and Midlands Region we consider 134 water supplies (Water Resource Zones) represented across nine (9) Study Areas. Do you have any comments on the Study Area delineation?
  3. Section 3 of the draft RWRP-EM and each of the Technical Appendices 1-9 outline the Need (Deficits) in both Quantity and Quality across the region and in each of the Study Areas. Do you have any comment on the Need (Deficit)? 
  4. Section 6 and the Technical Appendices 1-9 of the draft RWRP-EM summarises our Options Development Process. Do you have any comments on how the Feasible Options for the Water Resource Zones (WRZs), Study Areas and the Region have been identified?   
  5. Section 7 sets out how the Preferred Approach is identified at WRZ and Study Area Level. Each Preferred Approach will outline how it intends to address the Need in the relevant area. Each, Technical Appendix for Study Areas 1-9 and Environmental Review for Study Areas 1-9 will set out how the Preferred Approach has been developed in more detail. Have you any feedback on any of the WRZ Preferred Approach or Study Area Preferred Approach?   
  6. The draft RWRP-EM will look at a range of solutions to meet the Need in a Water Resource Zones or Study Area. These solutions are not limited by distance, therefore, some solutions for the Water Resource Zones or Study Areas will utilise regional transfers. For example, there are 33 Water Resource Zones in the draft RWRP-EM which are capable of benefitting from regional transfers. Section 8 of the draft RWRP-EM outlines how the regional solution will be developed and compared against solutions that do not involve a regional transfer. Have you any comments on the Regional Preferred Approach?   
  7. Interim Solutions are outlined in Section 7 and 8 of the draft RWRP- EM and in each of the Technical Appendices 1-9. Have you any comments on this as a strategy of reducing risk to water supplies while developing our Preferred Approaches? 
  8. Do you have any comments on the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Environmental Report and Natura Impact Statement (NIS) which accompany the draft RWRP-EM?  
  9. We have produced a draft-RWRP Consultation Roadmap. Do you have any comments on this?  
  10. How would you like Irish Water to communicate with you as the RWRPs progress?


Irish Water is committed to continuously engaging with stakeholders and we encourage feedback as we work through the development of the RWRP Eastern and Midlands.

If you would like to be part of an online public webinar on the draft RWRP Eastern Midlands plan and associated environmental reports, and for Irish Water representatives to answer any questions you may have that will assist you in making your submission, please provide an expression of interest via the followinglink here.

Webinars will be facilitated in January and February 2022.

Next Steps

  1. Once the public consultation period concludes, all feedback received during public consultation will be reviewed by the NWRP team and relevant feedback will be incorporated into the final RWRP-EM
  2. The submissions and observations received from the public consultation outlined above will be taken into consideration before adopting all four RWRPs. Once the complete NWRP has been finalised, compromising the Framework Plan and the four Regional Water Resources Plans and together they will be treated as a unified single plan.

Regional Water Resources Plan Eastern and Midlands video