Implementation Strategy for Nature Based Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems

A working group has been established jointly by the CCMA and DHLGH to oversee the development of a project scope to deliver an implementation strategy for nature based Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems on a national scale.

This strategy will support the City and County Development plans in the implementation of nature based solutions to surface water
management through water sensitive urban designs.

The provision of interim guidance documentation to the Local and Planning Authorities on measures to be implemented to support the delivery of a greater focus on nature based solutions in advance of a national implementation strategy is also called out in the plan.

Further actions also include:

  1. The National Bathing Water Expert Group to undertake a project to determine the most suitable approach to protecting bathers’ health outside of the current bathing season in Dublin Bay.
  2. DHLGH to amend the existing Bathing Water Regulations (S.I. No. 79 of 2008) to provide discretion to local authorities on determining the bathing season for individual bathing waters.
  3. Establish a programme for the modelling and monitoring of rainwater run-off and overflows.
  4. Oversee the preparation of integrated urban drainage management plans.


Natural Water Retention Measures

Restoring & Enhancing Natural Processes in Rivers

Four year (2019-2023) collaborative project funded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Office of Public Works (OPW).

The research will assess the benefits of Natural Water Retention Measures (NWRM) for agricultural catchments in Ireland.

Using GIS-based mapping techniques, topographic indices, hydrological modelling, and full-scale field demonstrations to develop a portfolio of potential approaches and methodologies to reduce flood risk and generate co-benefits including sediment and nutrient attenuation and ecosystem enhancement.

Demonstration sites will show how to design, build and instrument NWRM. Scaling up methodologies will use hydro-geomorphic patterns to investigate NWRM in other Irish catchments, at a range of spatial scales.

The project outputs will specifically provide recommendations for the management of specific catchment types relevant to the Irish environment by quantifying the magnitude of NWRM required to reduce flood peaks.

The research will underpin policy by identifying across scale measures that are most effective at targeting flood flows, providing beneficial ecosystem functions whilst having minimum effect of farm economics.

NWRM Videos

NWRM Presentations

NWRM Resources

Casestudy: The Cork Bund

Natural Water Retention Measures

Natural Water Retention Measures (NWRM) are multi-functional measures that aim to protect water resources and address waterrelated challenges by restoring or maintaining ecosystems as well as natural features and characteristics of water bodies using natural means and processes.

Typical NWRM include riparian woodlands, agricultural and upland drainage modifications, non-floodplain wetlands, instream structures (e.g. large woody debris), and offline storage ponds.

It has been demonstrated that NWRM improve water quality and can be effective at reducing flooding in small catchments for frequent floods, that is, in catchments less than 10km2 and for floods with a one in ten chance of occurring in any given year. NWRM also achieve multiple benefits beyond water quality and flood risk reduction, including habitat creation, climate regulation, and the provision of amenity.

The benefits and appropriate application of NWRM are extensively documented in the Scottish Environment Protection Agency Natural Flood Management Handbook, the Environment Agency (UK) Working with Natural Processes Handbook, and the EU Commissions NWRM web-portal.