Blue Dot Catchments Programme Work Programme: River Basin Management Plan 2018 -2021

LAWPRO

The work programme for the Blue Dot Catchments Programme for implementation during the 2nd cycle River Basin Management Plan was adopted by the Steering Group on 26th of September 2019.

The Programme objectives are:


1. Agree a vision for the protection and restoration of high status waters in Ireland.
2. Determine what constitutes a Blue Dot water body / site / catchment, and agree on a spatial network of high status waters in Ireland.
3. Agree branding for high status / blue dot waters.
4. Prepare a communications and engagement plan.
5. Establish pilot projects for community engagement and action.
6. Work together with the Department of Housing Planning and Local Government1 to establish appropriate planning guidance for the protection of Blue Dot waters.
7. Influence national schemes and programmes which can prioritise the protection and
restoration of Blue Dot waters.
8. Assist in improving the exchange of information within and between local and public
authorities and with Government Departments.
9. Consider areas where further research is required.
10. Review proposals for site specific measures for high status objective water bodies from
LAWPROs work programme and the LIFE IP (if successful).
11. Contribute to the development of a long term strategy for high status waters

An estimated work programme budget is presented

Priority Action Areas in which LAWPRO fieldwork is underway

(As at March 2022)

Note from LAWPRO: the numbers referred to in the LAWPRO annual report are for fieldwork underway in priority areas for action (PAAs) and the reference to “complete” was made in error. In-stream assessment fieldwork is a complex process that takes place in phases over a number of seasons and in many cases over a number of years. Fieldwork is not complete until an action plan has been finalised. Once fieldwork in a PAA is complete and an action plan is available, it will be published on http://www.catchments.ie or http://www.lawaters.ie.

This record lists the PAAs in which fieldwork is underway.

PAA Name
Rogerstown Estuary
Allow
Owveg (Nore)
Milltown (Kerry)
Silver (Kilcormac)
Athy stream
Kilmainham (Dee)
Lough Ennel/ Dysart Stream
Camlin
Moynalty
Clonshanbo/ Lyreen
Potters and Three Mile Water
Erne
Burren
Bundorragha
Lough Melvin and Drowse
Clonakilty
Glen Lackagh
Owenriff
Rosscarbery
Upper Caragh
Big (Louth)
Maghery
Annalee
Yellow (Ballinamore)
Dawros
Leannan
Nuenna
Unshin
Lough Mask and Lough Carra
Jiggy/Hind
Dinin (south, main and muckalee)
Clashawley
Inch (Bilboa)
Recess
Dead and Cauteen
Lough Rinn/Forbes
Clooneigh
St Johnstons
Lough Nastackan
Roosky
Clodiagh (Portlaw)
Tay
Bleach & L Graney
Lough Eske
Raford
St Clerans stream
Gageborough
Clareen
Derreen and Douglas (Kiltegan)
Morell
Urrin
Roo
Duiske
Glan
Glenree
Laghy Stream – Bridgetown
Boycetown
Bunowen (Louisburgh)
Mountain (water) & Emy Lake
Bellawaddy
Duff
Toem and Cappawhite
Doonbeg System
Fahaduff and Upper Maine
Broadford
Castlegar
Caha
Upper Deel
Upper and Lower Deel
Mulkear (Limerick)
Farahy
Owvane
Avonbeg-Avonmore
Lough Key
Tyshe
Blackwater (Longwood)
Shallee
Colligan-Bricky
Failmore
Donegal SW & Murlins
Woodford
Bannow
Sow
Erkina
Cashla
Lorrha Stream
Newport
Lough Lene/Adeel Stream
Upper Bonet
Ballinglen
Mountain
Derry-Coolboy-Rosnastraw
Nadreegeel
Lower Nanny
Island
Lough Conn and Lough Cullin
Templeport
Waterford Harbour
Kilkeran Lagoon
Portarlington
Carrigaholt
Martin
Clonmany
Feale
Awbeg (Buttevant) West
Deenagh
Drumcomoge
Cloonlavis/Glore
Owenmore

List of completed LAWPRO Priority Action Area (PAA) Desktop Studies

Note: lists the desk studies that have been finalised from a technical point of view but have not yet been approved for publication on http://www.lawaters.ie website and thus are not considered complete. Once they have been reviewed and approved, they will be published on LAWPRO website.

PAA Name
Kilmainham (Dee)
Glenree
Bunowen (Louisburgh)
Raford
Bundorragha
Recess
Big (Louth)
St Clerans stream
Milltown (Kerry)
Erne
Upper Bonet
Dawros
Clooneigh
Dinin (south, main and muckalee)
Lough Ennel/ Dysart Stream
Cullies
Athy stream
Mountain (water) & Emy Lake
Lough Key
St Johnstons
Annalee
Duff
Lough Melvin and Drowse
Nadreegeel
Nuenna
Unshin
Silver (Kilcormac)
Camlin
Bellawaddy
Laghy Stream – Bridgetown
Glen Lackagh
Lough Nastackan
Yellow (Ballinamore)
Ballinglen
Roo
Clodiagh (Portlaw)
Lough Eske
Jiggy/Hind
Donegal SW & Murlins
Upper Deel
Mulkear (Limerick)
Inny
Lough Currane
Roosky
Allow
Doonbeg System
Glan
Owenriff
Upper and Lower Deel

Broadford
Leannan
Clonmany
Caha
Carrowmore
Woodford
Farahy
Upper Caragh
Awbeg (Buttevant) West
Owvane
Gageborough
Feale
Lough Rinn/Forbes
Lough Fadda/Ownagappul
River Finn
Kilkeran Lagoon
Potters and Three Mile Water
Owentaraglin
Groody
Rosscarbery
Clareen
Bleach & L Graney
Ow
Liffey Upper
Avonbeg-Avonmore
Moynalty
Lough Lene/Adeel Stream
Boycetown
Morell
Rogerstown Estuary
Tay
Carrigaholt
Clonakilty
Urrin
Sow
Fahaduff and Upper Maine
Clashawley
Toem and Cappawhite
Clonshanbo/
Lyreen
Newport
Dead and Cauteen
Burren
Castlegar
Lough Mask and Lough Carra
Tyshe
Lee (Tralee) & Estuary
Adrigole
Glencar lake
Maghery

Shallee
Lickeen System
Templeport
Castletown
Upper Tolka
Failmore
Portarlington
Inch (Bilboa)
Ogeen
Cashla
Duiske
Boora
Derry-Coolboy-Rosnastraw
Lower Nanny
Mountain
Ashbourne
Keel Foherish
Camoge
Drumcomoge
Glenaboy
Owenmore
Lorrha Stream
Slaney
Ara
Island
Deenagh
Martin
Tulsk
Suck
Blackwater (Longwood)
Derravaragh/Yellow & Gaine
River
Derreen and Douglas (Kiltegan)
Owenboy
Bride (Cork city)
Waterford Harbour

Doonbeg Priority Area for Action Desktop Report

LAWPRO

Nov 2020

WFD app shows the water quality at Kilmihil stream is at Poor status due to elevated nutrient concentrations

WFD app indicates that sediment is the significant issue and the pressures are possibly forestry and/or an operational quarry upstream

Licence Register No. A0091-01 Kilmihil

The phosphate is likely to be reaching the river through discharge from UWWTP (Kilmihil Urban Waste Water Treatment Plant). Kilmihil wastewater treatment plant was identified in the EPA initial characterisation as the sole significant pressure on the Kilmihil Stream waterbody

EPA notes that this plant is overloaded (i.e. raw sewage is discharging untreated or partially treated to the river)

Last inspection was Nov 2019

Kilmihil licence file: https://epawebapp.epa.ie/licences/lic_eDMS/rss/A0091-01.xml

Latest filings:

No waste water treatment facility in the village of Cooraclare

Forestry on peat soils

Operational quarry on Tullagower Stream, Section 4 licensed facility (former quarry, now a waste recycling/recovery facility).

Note: Cannot locate quarry/recycling center, or related section 4 license, and not referenced by name in report. Maybe Tullagower Quarries ? waste farm plastics ?

Broadford Priority Area for Action Desktop Report

LAWPRO

April 2019

WFD App lists hydromorphology as the significant pressure

Water quality impact on Broadford is confined to a 1km stretch upstream of Scotts Bridge

https://goo.gl/maps/NEbb6Pg4g9eVaLR5A

Land use and soil type indicate that the significant issue is sediment. The significant pressure is hydromorphology – channelisation: evidence of deepening and straightening.

Potential issue with quarry

https://goo.gl/maps/79kQXSGiboZr2S1s5

EPA System for Tracking KPIs for the River Basin Management Plan

Request under the AIE Regulations for an electronic copy of the following documentation outlining the mechanism to track KPIs for the RBMP

On pg 34 of the report entitled “REVIEW OF THE LOCAL AUTHORITY WATERS PROGRAMME” the author Dr Matt Crowe notes:

In 2019, the EPA commenced developing a system for tracking the main KPIs for the River Basin Management plan and this would have included a mechanism for tracking progress with the two PAA targets mentioned above so it is possible that a mechanism and information exists within the overall State system but it does not appear to be publicly accessible.

Dr Crowe’s report was published in Jan 2021

A key commitment in the Programme for Government, is launching a new strengthened River Basin Management Plan to help Ireland protect, improve and sustainably manage our water environment to 2027.

A public mechanism to track KPIs underpins the RBMP

Under the current RBMP there are no public KPIs for LAWPRO, ASSAP, the related regional/national committees, the water related roles within local authorities, or the implementation bodies

AIE (25/3/22)

REVIEW OF THE LOCAL AUTHORITY WATERS PROGRAMME (LAWPRO)

Dr. Matt Crowe
January, 2021

This review is presented in two parts.

Part 1 presents an assessment of the overall strategic landscape within which LAWPRO sits, together with some implications for the future direction of LAWPRO.

Part 2 presents the assessment of LAWPRO drawing on some of the key learnings from the strategic review set out in Part 1.

The main objectives of the assessment were:

  1. Assess the role and contribution of LAWPRO to the current level of progress in implementing the actions outlined in the second-cycle River Basin Management Plan (RBMP).
  2. Complete a full review of the LAWPRO operation, building on work already completed, to consider its effectiveness in delivering on its objectives and to identify opportunities for improving and strengthening its operation during the next RBMP, taking into account the ambition of the third RBMP.
  3. Examine the opportunities for integrating and delivering on water policy, Climate Change, Biodiversity and broader economic, social and environmental sustainability objectives and identify the role that LAWPRO might play in achieving this during the third RBMP cycle.
    The review is based on an assessment of the documents provided by The Department for Housing, Local Government and Heritage (DHLGH), in particular, the external review of LAWPRO, LAWPRO’s submission to the DHLGH, the research conducted by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), the business cases for both the Local Authority Waters and Communities Office (LAWCO) and the Local Authority Support and Advice Team (LAWSAT), the 2018 and 2019 Annual Reports for LAWPRO, the Agricultural Sustainability Support and Advisory Programme (ASSAP) internal report, Significant Water management Issues consultation submissions and the current river basin management plan.

Notes

“the 3rd cycle plan must explicitly deal with any exemptions being applied in accordance with the provisions of the Directive, including where natural conditions are being invoked as a reason for aiming for less stringent objectives”

clarity about the respective roles of LAWPRO and local authorities

“if the 3rd cycle plan makes it explicit through prioritisation and goal setting that protecting and improving waters are of equal importance, then LAWPRO should have a lead role in both strategies. Currently, LAWPRO’s primary focus is on the Priority Areas for Action (PAA) which are mainly about seeking improvement in water quality. This is fine for the remainder of the second cycle but will not be enough for the 3rd cycle which will require clear and fully integrated catchment strategies for protecting and improving all water bodies.

“more emphasis should be placed by both LAWPRO and ASSAP on how the various steps in the process translate into the ‘right action in the right place at the right time’ actually happening, how it is verified and recorded that it has happened and the subsequent impact on water quality. This will be the real acid test of how the entire LAWPRO/ASSAP process is working

“Progressing the blue dots catchment programme objective has been very slow”

Set “clear and straightforward objectives” for LAWPRO – “These high level KPIs will need to include both quantitative and qualitative indicators”

“LAWPRO’s role in converting advice into action is also worth considering as there have to be consequences for either Implementing Bodies or land owners not taking action once the ‘right action in the right place at the right time and by the right person or organisation’ has been identified and agreed”

“Ideally, local authority staff would also engage on a regular basis with local agricultural advisors when it comes to engaging with local farmers so that a level of consistency is brought to providing farmers with advice about what to do”

The five regional operational committees have broad representation from the various implementation bodies and are perfectly positioned to facilitate a ratcheting up of collaborative implementation at catchment and sub-catchment levels

“It is difficult to nail down in precise terms the ‘stated objectives’ of LAWPRO” – Clarify the precise objectives set for LAWPRO for the third cycle. They will not necessarily be the same as for the second cycle. Without clear and straightforward objectives, it is difficult to track progress and to evaluate relative success over time.

LAWPRO currently use indicators to track meeting numbers and levels of participation. These provide evidence of ‘showing up’ but say little about the quality of participation, buy-in and engagement or how people feel about the engagement.

Under the current arrangements, neither LAWPRO or ASSAP can force the problem owner, be they another public body, a body corporate or a private citizen, to take the right action in the right place at the right time but are relying on the goodwill and cooperation of the problem owner to take the necessary action.

A key ‘de-minimus’ purpose for the blue dots catchment programme was to coordinate activities across all Implementing Bodies to ensure that actions were undertaken at these 141 water bodies to maximise the chances of their meeting their high-status objective. Ideally, the programme would also maintain a watching brief of the 243 water bodies deemed not at risk to ensure they remained so and did not deteriorate in quality

Growing need for up to date information about both water quality and the actions being taken (the right action in the right place) so that as dynamic and up to date a system of information as possible is available for both practitioners and the public

The key outcome is ‘an improvement in water quality in the priority areas for action (PAAs)’.

Note: author unable to locate EPA KPI mechanism, first created in 2019

Athy Stream: Silt, Sediment and River Restoration Project

Athy Stream: Widespread sediment issues have been identified.

Ongoing work by ASSAP may help reduce the amount of new sediment entering the stream.

However, this will not resolve issues with historic sediment and possible impacts from historical straightening of the channel. There may be need for additional restoration work on this river, however as yet there is no framework for river restoration measures in these scenarios.

These works can be expensive.

No AFA report on catchments.ie

No LAWPRO desktop report publsihed to date

Nanny PAA: Upstream Nutrient Pollution

Source: WFD National Technical Implementation Group, Minutes May 2020

“Nanny PAA: Initial Local Characterisation Assessment has identified nutrient issues in the PAA, however these issues are coming from an upstream area that is not within this PAA. Therefore, ASSAP are not currently working in these areas. At present, LAWPRO do not expect improvement in this PAA by the end of the 2 nd Cycle in 2021. Hence, the Nanny should be considered as a PAA for Cycle 3 with an enlarged catchment area that includes these upstream areas with nutrient issues”

Desktop study for Lower Nanny

Note: list of PAAs where catchment assessment is impacted by pressures upstream of the area under consideration