Over the past 2 months the Local Authority Waters & Communities Office has been running public meetings in the Greater Dublin Area in order to give local communities an opportunity to discuss and raise issues relating to our local natural waters – our streams, rivers and beaches – and to have an input into the Draft River Basin Management Plan for Ireland.
On the 4th of July one of these meetings took place in the dlrLexicon library, facilitated by Sinéad Hurston, Community Water Officer for Dublin with a presentation by Paul Buggy of DLRCC. Information shared by Sinéad and Paul included:
- Urban run-off and misconnections are the biggest polluter of our rivers and streams in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown. This is mainly caused by foul water pipes (e.g. from washing machines or showers) being incorrectly connected to surface water drains (those intended for rain water).
- Streams that are at less than good water quality status in DLR include the Little Dargle and The Slang, both of which are tributaries of the River Dodder. The Carrickmines and Kill of Grange streams are also at less than good status. The Shanganagh Stream is currently at good water quality status which also needs to be protected to maintain good water quality. Communities need to work together to improve the health of streams – it is hard for one community to tackle issues in one part of a stream or river if others are not playing their part upstream. We need to start working together at a Catchment level. A good example of this is the River Moy, where local anglers, businesses and all stakeholders are all working together to protect the River Moy by forming a River Association. More information can be found at:
- Issues with bathing water in DLR, such as Blackrock and Seapoint are intermittently caused when there is very heavy rainfall and there is not enough capacity in the current network system. Upgrade works by Irish Water have shown some improvement.
- People attending the meeting worked together to look at the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threat in relation to our natural waters in DLR. Some of the weakness and threats identified included: Access, Sewage, Resources for enforcement, Communication between the agencies and the public, misconnections and Invasive Alien Species. The strengths and opportunities identified included: Improvement in sewage treatment, excellent beaches, community groups, potential greenway, education opportunities and raising awareness.
- The Draft River Basin Management Plan is open for consultation until the end of August http://www.housing.gov.ie/water/water-quality/river-basin-management-plans/public-consultation-draft-river-basin-management. So please get involved and have your say by making a submission , which can be completed online at: https://consult.watersandcommunities.ie/en/content/draft-river-basin-management-plan-ireland-2018-2021