Northern Ireland

There are variations in the Plans specifically related to the situation in the devolved administrations and these can be found by clicking on the countries below:

River Basin managment in Northern Ireland and Ireland

The water environment in the island of Ireland is divided into eight River Basin Districts. One of these River Basin Districts, the North Eastern RBD is entirely in Northern Ireland, four are entirely in Ireland and three are cross-border International River Basin Districts – The North Western River IRBD, The Neagh Bann IRBD and Shannon IRBD.  Only a small portion of Shannon IRBD lies within Northern Ireland. Consequently the drafting of the Plan was led by the authorities in the Republic of Ireland.

The draft Plans for the three RBDs within Northern Ireland have been developed by NIEA, Northern Ireland Environment Agency with a wide range of interested organisations, working together in a Water Framework Directive Stakeholder Forum and in Catchment Stakeholder Groups. Further information on the development of the plans can be found on the NIEA website:

The Plans for the RBDs in Northern Ireland have been developed in cooperation between local authorities within each RBD, River Basin District Advisory Councils (RBDAC), the Environment Agency and, for the IRBDs, the NIEA.

The Plans for the RBDs have three components:

  1. The Main document provides a summary of the River Basin Management Plan for each River Basin District. It describes the current condition of the water environment, the objectives for improving it, the measures that we will use to deliver these improvements, and how the NIEA will work together to implement the Plan.
  2. The NIEA’s website (http://www.doeni.gov.uk/niea/water-home/wfd/wfd-earlier-rbp.htm) has an interactive map that provides access to information on local water bodies of interest.
  3. (http://maps.ehsni.gov.uk/wmuviewer/)

  4. The NIEA website also provides details of the technical work and methodologies used in developing the River Basin Management Plan.

Reports assessing the impacts of the plan and the measures proposed have been produced for each RBD.

The main pressures and issues for those waters in Northern Ireland not achieving good status or better were identified to be:

  • Abstraction and flow regulation;
  • Diffuse pollution from rural and urban land, including nutrient enrichment;
  • Point source pollution from sewage and industry;
  • Changes to morphology (physical habitat);
  • Invasive alien (non-native) species.

Northern Ireland has a layered approach to public involvement, based on a Northern Ireland Water Framework Directive Stakeholder Forum, linked to a network of nine Catchment Stakeholder Groups. The NIEA recorded, reviewed and collated  responses into a series of five consultation response documents. These response documents can be viewed on the NIEA website:


A programme of measures to deliver these objectives has been drawn up, taking into account the range of existing and planned measures as well as identifying supplementary measures that are required to be put in place. The measures will be applied at a local level depending on the reasons identified for not achieving good status. Information leaflets have been produced for 26 Local Management Areas (LMA), across the Neagh Bann, North Western and North Eastern Districts. The LMA Information leaflets are available  for download  on the Working Together sections of the RBMPs, accessible from the NIEA website:






Tel: +44 (0) 1628 891 589  Fax: +44 (0) 1628 472711

Registered Office: Allen House, The Listons , Liston Road, Marlow,
Buckinghamshire SL7 1FD, UK © 2015 FWR  All rights reserved.

The Foundation for Water Research is a company limited by guarantee,
registered in England, No 525927 and a registered charity No 1086685.