Water is a precious resource, and managing our water so it can meet our current and future needs and also continue to support the ecosystems that depend on it, is vital for our future. Sewage, industrial and agricultural sources of pollution continue to be the main threat to the quality of our waters. Measures to improve water quality are being implemented in order to achieve the targets set out in the Water Framework Directive (WFD). This European Union legislation has become a major driver for achieving sustainable management of water in Ireland and was transposed into Irish legislation by the European Communities (Water Policy) Regulations 2003 (S.I. 722 of 2003) as amended.
The first cycle resulted in River Basin District Management (RBD) plans for all RBD’s in the country. County Roscommon formed part of two RBD’s, the Shannon and Western and details of these plans can be found at www.wfdireland.ie.
For the second cycle, new governance structures were introduced to achieve the targets of the WFD. See http://www.epa.ie/water/watmg/wfd/wfdapp/. Although some improvements in water quality have been achieved, largely due to the implementation of measures controlling point sources of pollution, an Integrated Catchment Management (ICM) approach is increasingly seen internationally as essential to successful water management. For further information on ICM see https://www.catchments.ie/