The Impact of the Current Regulatory Framework on Water Quality in Ireland

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Lecturer: Aisling O’Gorman
Waste Process Management
Lecturer: Aisling O’Gorman
Waste Process Management
08
Fall
08
Fall

Submission Date: 11/10/2012 Word Count: 2387 Submission Date: 11/10/2012 Word Count: 2387 The Impact of the Current Regulatory Framework on Water Quality in Ireland: Maria McShane

The Impact of the Current Regulatory Framework on Water Quality in Ireland: Maria McShane

Introduction

Based on the evaluation of various reports, papers, documents, regulations and legislation from numerous agencies, departments, directives and bodies it can be seen that although “on paper” major changes have been made so as to improve the quality of water in Ireland, realistically the amendments do not match up. This being that progress has been slow and minimal when compared to the reform of regulations and legislation and the introduction of the Water Framework Directive. Considering the key importance of water as a natural resource both to society and habitats alike it will be argued that although the intention is there to improve the quality of water in Ireland (and there have been some improvements) as an overall, actual major physical improvements to the water quality has yet to be seen.

Report

Firstly the Water Framework Directive will be examined to highlight its purpose, current status and goals for the future and how it fits into impacting Irelands water quality. The WFD was set up by the EU “in response to the increasing threat of pollution and the increasing demand from the public for cleaner rivers, lakes and beaches” (The Eu Water Framework Directive. [online] Available at: <http://www.wfdireland.ie/wfd.html>[Accessed on 08/10/12]). According to the Water Framework Directives’ website, their aims are to “protect/enhance all waters (surface, ground and coastal waters), achieve "good status" for all waters by December 2015, manage water bodies based on river basins (or catchments), involve the public and streamline legislation”1 (The Eu Water Framework Directive. [online] Available at: <http://www.wfdireland.ie/wfd.html>[Accessed on 08/10/12]).

In order to achieve these goals a timetable for implementation of the directive was created, starting from its transposition into Irish Legislation by the European Communities (Water Policy) Regulations 2003, (Statutory Instrument 722) on 22nd December 2003 (European Communities (Water Policy) Regulations 2003, (Statutory Instrument 722). (The Eu Water Framework Directive. [online] Available at: <http://www.wfdireland.ie/wfd.html>[Accessed on 08/10/12]). From the 22nd December 2003 to the 22nd June 2009 no Programmes of Measures were actually implemented in order to beneficially impact Irelands water quality by the WFD. Instead the WFD established (June 2004) and characterised (December 2004) Irelands River Basin Districts, submitted a National Summary Report on the characterisation of the RBDs to the European Commission (March 2005), developed classification systems for surface water and groundwater (June 2006), established and maintained appropriate Monitoring Programmes (June 2006), prepared and published a work programme and timetable for the production of River Basin Management Plans (RBMP) (June 2006), identified the significant water management issues in each river basin (June 2007), drafted RBMPs and allowed six months for written comment (June 2008), and finally established environmental objectives and final Programmes of Measures and developed RBMPs for implementation (June 2009), (Water Framework Directive, [2005]).

Although this research and reporting is a vital function of improving Irelands water quality, the timeframe in which this has been done means that physical progress has been hindered.

The actual recovery progress made to Irelands water quality can be seen in...
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