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River Basin Management Plans are the key tools for implementing the Water Framework Directive. They are drawn up after extensive public consultation and are valid for a six-year period.  The aim of the River Basin Management Plan is to ensure that our natural waters are sustainably managed, that freshwater resources are protected so that there is no further deterioration; and where required, Ireland’s rivers, lakes and coastal water bodies are restored to good ecological status.

The first cycle of River Basin Management Planning ran from 2009 to 2015. During this cycle the island of Ireland was divided into eight river basin districts with individual plans being produced for each district. In the 2nd cycle this was reduced to one River Basin District for the republic and one international river basin district along the border with Northern Ireland.  The 3rd cycle River Basin Management Plan for 2022-2027 is currently being finalised.  More information on the River Basin Management Plan 2022-2027 can be found at the link below.