Irish Water Preparing For the Future With Development of National Water Resources Plan (NWRP)
Irish Water is preparing for the future with the development of the first National Water Resources Plan (NWRP). The plan will outline how we move towards a sustainable, secure and reliable drinking water supply for everyone over the next 25 years, whilst safeguarding our environment. The NWRP will outline how Irish Water intends to maintain the balance between our supply from water sources around the country and demand for drinking water over the short, medium and long-term. This will allow us to prepare for the future and ensure that we can provide enough safe, clean drinking water to enable the social and economic growth of our country.
There are a number of elements that will be undertaken in the development of the NWRP. Irish Water will consider availability of water by assessing water resources at a national level (including lakes, rivers and groundwater) and assessing the current and future water demand from homes, businesses, farms, and industry. Irish Water will consider impacts on those water supplies by identifying areas where there are current and potential water supply shortfalls by taking into account normal and extreme weather conditions. This will include considering the impacts of climate change on Ireland’s water resources and the development of a Drought Plan recommending measures to be taken before and during drought events. When Irish Water has identified the potential shortfalls it will also assess the options for meeting these shortfalls. Finally, the NWRP will develop a plan that sets out how Irish Water manage the waste material that is produced as a result of treating our drinking water. In preparing the NWRP, Irish Water needs to undertake some key environmental reports including a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and Appropriate Assessment (AA). A public consultation was launched today to inform the development of these reports.
Irish Water wants to hear from anyone who has views on the SEA Scoping Report (available at www.water.ie/nwrp) and its content and any other comments or suggestions that should be considered at this stage.
Commenting on the NWRP, Mary McMahon, Acting Water Resource Strategy Specialist with Irish Water, said: “We are currently developing the draft plan with a view to publishing the final 25-year National Water Resources Plan in 2018. A national plan will ensure the best use of water resources to ensure a constant supply of safe clean drinking water and how best to meet any challenges while continuing to support social and economic growth.”
All submissions made on the SEA Scoping Report will be reviewed and relevant feedback incorporated into the environmental reports. Irish Water will refer to the environmental reports when preparing the Draft National Water Resources Plan. In summer of 2018, the draft NWRP will go on display for an eight-week statutory public consultation, before being reviewed and finalised later that year.
After this, Irish Water will undertake a review and update of the NWRP every five years at least to ensure that the latest available information is factored in. This review will assess the actions and objectives of the first NWRP and make recommendations for new or updated approaches. The revised plan and associated environmental reports will again invite feedback during its development prior to adoption.
The public consultation will be undertaken for six weeks from Thursday 9 November to Friday 22 December 2017 during which time the SEA Scoping Report can be viewed and downloaded at www.water.ie/nwrp and comments and feedback sent to Irish Water as follows: Email: email@example.com
Post: National Water Resources Plan, Irish Water, Colvill House, 24‐26 Talbot Street, Dublin 1, Ireland.