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Minister Alan Kelly launches public consultation on Significant Water Management Issues in Ireland (SWMI)


Mr. Alan Kelly T.D., Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, today (Wednesday the 17th of June, 2015) launched a public consultation on the Significant Water Management Issues for Ireland to be addressed in the second round of River Basin Management Plans. These plans, which will be in place by end-2017, will set out the environmental goals to be achieved by end-2021 together with the measures needed to ensure that they are delivered in practice.

Speaking at the launch of the SWMI consultation document today at the EPA National Water Event in Galway, the Minister said "the protection of water quality is in everyone's interest - agriculture, industry, tourism and public health. River basin management planning is a tried and trusted tool for doing this".

The Minister went on to say "we have learned a lot from the first round of Plans and we need to build on that in the second round. This document outlines what we believe are the key significant water management issues to be addressed and I hope that we will have a robust consultation process now on these issues. "We must have a national conversation about how we can keep source water as clean as possible and it is vital that we come to a broad consensus on the fundamental issues so we can systematically address them".

Copies of the can be downloaded from the Department's website consultation document here. Submissions can be made by email to here. or by sending a written response to "WFD SWMI Consultation, Water Quality Section, Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, Newtown Road, Wexford". The final date for responses in respect of this consultation is 18 December 2015.

Submissions received in response to this consultation will be taken into account in the preparation of draft river basin management plans. In addition, the draft plans will be published for further public consultation in 2016, after which final river basin management plans will be adopted by the Minister and published in 2017; those plans will run to 2021.


Welcome to our website which seeks to provide information on the Neagh Bann International River Basin District and also the NS SHARE project. We will present project reports and interactive maps here to allow the visitor have access to information about their area and the implementation of the Water Framework Directive.

Interactive map showing the River Basin Districts
North Western International River Basin District Neagh Bann International River Basin District North Eastern River Basin District
About the Neagh and Bann region

Lough Neagh is situated in the centre of Northern Ireland. It is the largest freshwater lake in Ireland and is very shallow for its size. The Upper Bann is one of six major rivers that flow into the Lough, while the lake drains through the Lower Bann River from the north end of the Lough at Toome to the sea on the north coast of Northern Ireland. The rivers flowing into Lough Neagh drain about 43% of Northern Ireland, plus part of County Monaghan in the Republic of Ireland. There is no incursion of seawater into Lough Neagh.

Lough Neagh itself has several local, national and international environmental designations. It was designated as a Ramsar site in 1976 because of the very large numbers of wintering wildfowl. The Lough is used as a source of drinking water for Belfast. Many of the local people make a living from the Lough, mainly from fishing (including an eel fishery), but sand extraction also occurs.

The Neagh Bann River Basin District

The Neagh Bann International River Basin District (RBD) is one of three RBDs that together form the North South Shared Aquatic Resource (NS Share) Project. This project is supported by the EU INTERREG IIIA Programme for Ireland/Northern Ireland. It was set up to implement the objectives of the Water Framework Directive in the region. This Directive is the most substantial and innovative piece of European Union water legislation to date. It sets out a detailed framework for the protection, improvement and sustainable use of our waters.

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