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
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
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
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)
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
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:
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).
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.
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.
“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)’.
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.
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