Consultation on the Draft 3rd Cycle River Basin Management Plan

Closed 10 Oct 2021

Opened 9 Apr 2021


Northern Ireland’s water resources are managed and protected using a catchment based approach which includes rivers, lakes and groundwater as well as coastal and transitional water bodies. The Water Environment (Water Framework Directive) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2017 requires the production and implementation of a River Basin Management Plan (RBMP) in six yearly cycles. The River Basin Management Plan takes an integrated approach, identifying those water bodies which can be classified as being at ‘good or better’ status. It also sets the objectives and a programme of measures for the next six year cycle to help improve those water bodies which are classified as below ‘good’ status.

The 3rd cycle RBMP period runs from 2021-2027. NIEA presents this draft river basin management plan (the draft plan) for the 3rd cycle RBMP period, whose publication was delayed due to key staff being re-deployed in the response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The draft plan provides an update on the health of Northern Ireland’s water environment (the status of water bodies), but also sets out our targets (objectives) and actions (programme of measures) on how we want to improve our water environment in the next six years. The draft plan covers the North-Western, Neagh Bann and North Eastern river basin districts (RBD), but also includes detailed status updates on each RBD.

The public consultation is open for a period of six months until 10 October 2021. NIEA encourages you to respond as early as possible due to the shortened timescales in preparing the final river basin management plan for December 2021.


  • Parents
  • Higher education students
  • Prospective higher education students
  • School students
  • All stakeholders
  • Citizens
  • Business
  • Voluntary and Community Sector
  • Homeowners


  • Staff Engagement
  • Rural Development Programme
  • Climate Change
  • Water Regulation
  • Waste Regulation
  • Pollution Control
  • Farming
  • Agriculture
  • Environment
  • Wildlife
  • Scientific