River Basin Management Plan

The most important document for protection of the River Vartry is the EU regulated River Basin Management Plan (RBMP) which 4 years ago, we contributed to.  We were pleased with the result as the River Vartry was going to be declared “Heavily Modified”, due to the Reservoir.  Because of intervention of the Fisheries this was changed to the Upper and Lower Vartry.  The Lower being natural and unmodified, while the Upper was heavily modified.

Without the help of the Fisheries, it would have been the death of the river.  The plan had a requirement for defining Compensatory Flows for the river by 2015 but there were four responsible bodies, Wicklow County Council, EPA, Fisheries, and the Dublin Corp.  At the time we realised that this was an important decision but would be hard to force to implement as there were four bodies responsible and it would likely fall between the chairs.  Time proved us right.

It is not often that I get an opportunity to praise to the Government but Minister Alan Kelly for the Environment has done a superb job at preparing a Public Consultation Document to get public input prior to the Draft of the RBMP.  To understand just how much he wishes to do a good job, I quote from the introduction, “There is general acceptance that the governance arrangements put in place to deliver the first cycle of river basin management plans did not work well. Arrangements were overly-complex and responsibilities were poorly defined with no single body having overall responsibility for developing the plans and overseeing delivery of the programmes of measures.”  We have great hopes that this second cycle for the RBMP will be much more successful and address some of these weaknesses of the past.

We will be attaching our Submission to the Document and ask that you get in touch if you have any issues that you think need addressing.  Some of our bullet points are

• Compensatory Flows and flow measuring equipment

• River Basin extended no building zone

• Planning Estate Safe Surface Run-off specification for River Basins

• Chemical Pollution protection and penalties

• Buffer Second Reservoir

• Group Champions for Rivers to continual Resource for local Knowledge and Monitoring

• Flood Plain Preservation

• Measures to stop Illegal Fishing and Netting through signage

July 09 2015 10:11 pm | Active and Politics and Polution and River Basin Management and Water Directive

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