About us

The Eastern River Basin District incorporates all or part of twelve Local Authority areas: Dublin City, Meath, Kildare, Wicklow, Cavan, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, Fingal, Offaly, South Dublin, Westmeath, Louth and a small portion of Wexford; the main river catchments in the area are the Boyne, the Nanny/Delvin, the Liffey, and the Avoca/Vartry.
 
The EU Water Framework Directive is perhaps the most forward looking piece of water legislation in the world. It takes a comprehensive catchment based approach to water management and, for the first time, gives us the opportunity to work together to overcome the problems experienced in our natural waters. It fosters cooperative working between local authorities and various stakeholders and is designed to overcome a “single issue” approach by recognising that all of society benefits and impacts our waters.  The Directive aims to prevent any deterioration in the quality of our waters and to ensure that all waters reach good ecological status.  
 
The island of Ireland has been divided into eight river basin districts to help manage implementation of the Directive and a River Basin Management Plan and Programme of Measures has been developed for each river basin district. This Plan is the latest in a series of documents implementing the Directive in Ireland meeting deadlines identified in the Directive.  In 2015 a second Plan will be prepared, learning from our experience and successes up to that point. This second Plan will include the development of a new Programme of Measures to manage the waters up until 2021, when a third Plan will be developed.
 
The Eastern River Basin District is home to rich agricultural land, holiday coastline, the city of Dublin and the towns which form the Greater Dublin Area and its commuter belt. With a land area of around 6,300 km², the Eastern River Basin District covers about one tenth of the entire country and has 350 km² of marine waters.

Eastern River Basin District

Around 1.6 million people, 40% of Ireland’s population, live in the Eastern River Basin District. The population is growing every decade, partly due to the internal and external migration to live and work around Dublin.
The distribution of people and their activities varies from agricultural communities to the city of Dublin and its commuter belt. The population density is high compared to the rest of Ireland, and the region has seen a population growth of over 10% in recent years.

8% of the land area in the basin is urban, 75% agricultural and the remainder natural. Within the five years since the previous census the population in Dublin has increased by 7%, whilst Dublin commuter towns have expanded at rates as high as 51%. The greatest population increases have been in villages with a population of between 50 and 1,500 people in Dublin, Meath, Kildare and Wicklow.

Dublin and Greater Dublin are home to 90% of the Eastern River Basin District’s population; most of the urban population outside this area is around rivers or ports; others live in smaller towns, villages or one-off houses in rural areas. The growing population, especially in Dublin’s commuter belt, is putting increasing pressure on the systems that deliver drinking water and treat wastewater and is also creating development demand throughout the basin.

The Eastern River Basin District incorporates all or part of twelve local authority areas: Dublin City, Meath, Kildare, Wicklow, Cavan, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, Fingal, Offaly, South Dublin, Westmeath and small portions of Wexford and Louth.

Rivers: The main river catchments in the Eastern River Basin District are the Boyne, the Nanny/Delvin, the Liffey, and the Avoca/Vartry. The Avoca/Vartry includes many smaller catchments along the coastline. There are 365 river water bodies in the Eastern River Basin District.

Lakes: The Eastern River Basin District includes 524 natural lakes. Six of these, and two reservoirs, exceed 50 hectares in size, the biggest being Poulaphuca reservoir at around 1,950 hectares. The Directive requires that we report on lakes that exceed 50 hectares or those which contain protected areas –  a total of 28 lakes and reservoirs in the Eastern River Basin District.

Transitional and Coastal Waters: From Drogheda all the way south to Arklow, the river waters enter the Irish Sea along 130km of coastline from the Boyne estuary, Malahide, Dublin, Killiney and Brittas Bays. The Eastern River Basin District contains all the coastlines of Meath, Fingal, Dublin, Dublin City, Dun Laoghaire and Wicklow (eight water bodies), as well as eleven estuaries and two lagoons.

Groundwaters: As with other basin districts, the water system below ground in the East is quite complex because of the wide range of rock types and soils within the Eastern River Basin District. The underground aquifers can cross surface water catchment and boundaries. There are 75 groundwater bodies in the Eastern River Basin District, some of which are restricted to urban areas.

Local Authorities in the Eastern River Basin District



The Eastern River Basin District incorporates all or part of twelve Local Authority areas: Dublin City, Meath, Kildare, Wicklow, Cavan, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, Fingal, Offaly, South Dublin, Westmeath, Louth and a small portion of Wexford.  The status of the water bodies in the Local Authorities at the beginning of the first cycle is described below; this forms the baseline against which our progress will be judged. 


Click on your Local Authority :

Project Innovation Award



The River Basin Management System developed by the ERBD to manage data and information was awarded an International Water Association (IWA) award.

The IWA Project Innovation Awards is a prestigious global competition which recognises and celebrates innovation and excellence in water engineering projects around the world in six different project categories – applied research, planning, design, operations/management, small projects and marketing and communications.

Established in 2006, the programme runs on a two-year cycle with the Regional Awards presented in regional forums, and the Global Awards being delivered at the biennial IWA World Water Congress.


Progress

As an indication of our improving waters, salmon have now been sighted in all three of Dublin’s rivers for the first time in a generation. Inland Fisheries Ireland reported spawning salmon in the River Tolka in 2012 which means that all three Dublin rivers now support populations of wild salmon.

The River Basin Management Plan identified specific waters which were targeted to achieve good status by 2015. These waters tend to be in the upper parts of catchments where problems can be addressed without other upstream pressures detrimentally affecting the waters. Other waters have later target dates because they are affected by pressures from upstream or because the measures required will take longer than 6 years to implement or become effective.

The planned progressive achievement of good status is shown in the map below, and progress is on target to meet our objectives in the Eastern River Basin District.  In the most recent status update from the Environmental Protection Agency, seventeen water bodies have improved to good status.  In addition, eleven water bodies have improved to high status.  Assignment of high status classification represents water bodies in pristine conditions and the attainment of the highest standards. 



See progress

as defined in the RBM Plan

  • Progress map
  • Progress map
  • Progress map
  • Progress map
  • Progress map

Click along the bar to see improved progress for the ERBD





A key requirement of the Directive is public participation.  Public involvement in the Eastern River Basin District began In June 2006, the EPA undertook a public consultation on a draft of the proposed Monitoring Programme.   
 
Publication of the “Water Matters” report in June 2007 provided all interested parties with an overview of the water management issues affecting the quality of our waters. On 22nd December 2008, the draft of the first River Basin Management Plan was published for consultation.   Comments were invited from all interested parties and assisted greatly in the development of the River Basin Management Plan.
 
An awareness campaign is also being successfully implemented in primary schools across the district. The programme is aimed at educating primary school children about water quality matters and increasing the visibility of the water environment generally.  It is estimated that over one thousand children have participated in the programme so far.
 
In addition, the Eastern River Basin District office runs a series of workshops annually, including:
 
  • Implementation and Prioritisation Workshops to develop implementation priorities and an annual implementation plan;
  • Sectoral Workshops dealing with particular issues such as Forestry and Animal Access;
  • Protected Area Workshops to support the specific needs of protected areas;
  • Dublin Metropolitan Area workshops; and
  • Workshops to facilitate those in urbanised areas outside the Dublin area.



MMU

Mobile Monitoring Unit




The Eastern River Basin District established a Mobile Monitoring Unit (MMU) with a watershed warden to undertake investigative monitoring in catchments across the district. The objective of this work was to help identify the causes of problems in our waters where these were unknown.
 
The watershed warden worked with specialist staff in the Local Authorities to investigate causes of pollution and poor ecological status throughout the area. The work was undertaken to gain a detailed knowledge of "on-the-ground" conditions and local water quality issues.









For more information or suggestions click on your local area

Dublin City Council

ERBD Office
Administration 01-2224804
e-mail: alan.oregan@dublincity.ie


ERBD Office
Ray Earle
ERBD Coordinator 
Dublin City Council
4th Floor
68-70 Marrowbone Lane
Dublin 8
Tel: +353 (0)1 2224274
rayearlewater@gmail.com
Louth County Council
Phone Number: 042 9353110
Email Address: environment@louthcoco.ie



ERBD Office
Ray Earle
ERBD Coordinator
Dublin City Council
4th Floor
68-70 Marrowbone Lane
Dublin 8
Tel: +353 (0)1 2224274
rayearlewater@gmail.com     

Meath County Council
Phone Number: 046 9097000
Email Address: info@meathcoco.ie
 


ERBD Office
Ray Earle
ERBD Coordinator 
Dublin City Council
4th Floor
68-70 Marrowbone Lane
Dublin 8
Tel: +353 (0)1 2224274
rayearlewater@gmail.com  

Westmeath County Council
Phone Number: 044 9332226
Email Address:environment@westmeathcoco.ie
 


ERBD Office
Ray Earle
ERBD Coordinator 
Dublin City Council
4th Floor
68-70 Marrowbone Lane
Dublin 8
Tel: +353 (0)1 2224274
rayearlewater@gmail.com  

Fingal County Council
Phone Number:01-890 5000
Email Address: info@fingalcoco.ie
 


ERBD Office
Ray Earle
ERBD Coordinator 
Dublin City Council
4th Floor
68-70 Marrowbone Lane
Dublin 8
Tel: +353 (0)1 2224274
rayearlewater@gmail.com 

 

Offaly County Council
Phone Number: 057 9357403
Email Address: environment@offalycoco.ie
 


ERBD Office
Ray Earle
ERBD Coordinator 
Dublin City Council
4th Floor
68-70 Marrowbone Lane
Dublin 8
Tel: +353 (0)1 2224274
rayearlewater@gmail.com 

 

Kildare County Council
Phone Number: 045 980588
Email Address: environ@kildarecoco.ie
 


ERBD Office
Ray Earle
ERBD Coordinator 
Dublin City Council
4th Floor
68-70 Marrowbone Lane
Dublin 8
Tel: +353 (0)1 2224274
rayearlewater@gmail.com 

 

South Dublin County Council
Phone Number: 01-4149000
Email Address: info@sdublincoco.ie
 


ERBD Office
Ray Earle
ERBD Coordinator 
Dublin City Council
4th Floor
68-70 Marrowbone Lane
Dublin 8
Tel: +353 (0)1 2224274
rayearlewater@gmail.com 

 

Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council
Phone Number:  01-2054700
Email Address: environ@dlrcoco.ie
 


ERBD Office
Ray Earle
ERBD Coordinator 
Dublin City Council
4th Floor
68-70 Marrowbone Lane
Dublin 8
Tel: +353 (0)1 2224274
rayearlewater@gmail.com 

 

Wicklow County Council
Phone Number: 0404 20236
Email Address: env@wicklowcoco.ie
 


ERBD Office
Ray Earle
ERBD Coordinator 
Dublin City Council
4th Floor
68-70 Marrowbone Lane
Dublin 8
Tel: +353 (0)1 2224274
rayearlewater@gmail.com 

Cavan County Council
Phone Number: 049 4378300
Email Address: info@cavancoco.ie
 


ERBD Office
Ray Earle
ERBD Coordinator 
Dublin City Council
4th Floor
68-70 Marrowbone Lane
Dublin 8
Tel: +353 (0)1 2224274
rayearlewater@gmail.com 

Wexford County Council
Phone Number: 053 9196313
Email Address: postmaster@wexfordcoco.ie
 


ERBD Office
Ray Earle
ERBD Coordinator 
Dublin City Council
4th Floor
68-70 Marrowbone Lane
Dublin 8
Tel: +353 (0)1 2224274
rayearlewater@gmail.com 

 

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