Floods Directive Flood Risk Management Plans Public Consultation

Background

The Floods Directive (2007/60/EC) came into force on 26 November 2007. Its purpose is to establish a framework to assess and manage flood risk and to reduce the adverse consequences of flooding on human health, the environment, cultural heritage and economic activity. Member States are required to identify areas at risk from flooding and to develop management plans to prevent flooding and to protect these areas. The environment, climate change and sustainable land use practices must be taken into account when developing these plans.

Flood Risk Management Plans

The OPW has identified and mapped areas throughout the country that are considered to be under potential significant risk of flooding. These are called Areas for Further Assessment (AFAs). Measures that could manage and reduce the risk of flooding in these areas have been identified, assessed and developed. These measures are presented in the Flood Risk Management Plans. Each River Basin District has been divided into areas called Units of Management (UoM), of which there are 32 in total. There is an FRMP for each UoM, but some plans cover two UoMs. Each UoM contains a number of Areas for Further Assessment.

Interactions with the Water Framework Directive

The Floods Directive must be aligned with the Water Framework Directive (WFD) mainly through the coordination of the Flood Risk Management Plans and River Basin Management Plans. The FRMPs must take the environmental objectives of the WFD into account, as well as characteristics of the river basins, while also promoting sustainable land-use practices and improvement of water retention. There are many measures that can contribute to both WFD and FD objectives, such as Natural Water Retention measures. However structural flood defence works can have serious negative impacts on water quality and on our natural environment.

Public Consultation

The competent authority for the FRMPs is the OPW, who commenced public consultation on the draft FRMPs on 15 July for all the UoMs within the Shannon and South Western River Basin Districts for a period of ten weeks. The draft FRMPs for the South Eastern, North Western and Neagh Bahn River Basin Districts were released on August 19, closing October 28. The draft FRMPs for the Western and Eastern RBDs opened on September 13 and September 23, respectively; they closed November 22 and December 2. The final draft Plan, for the Suir catchment (UoM 16), opened October 4 and closed December 13. SWAN has provided a table with links to all draft FRMPs and their associated consultation periods. More information on the draft FRMPs are also available through the OPW website here. Each FRMP was accompanied by a Strategic Environmental Assessment and an Appropriate Assessment, which evaluated and described the negative impacts of the proposed flood risk management measures on WFD objectives and on the conservation objectives of SACs and SPAs.

SWAN and several SWAN member groups critically reviewed these plans, submitting strong opposition to measures that will impact our water resources and biodiversity. We also ran a campaign encouraging the public to make submissions, providing easy-to-follow instructions and template submissions. To view SWAN’s submissions, click on the first link below (draft FRMPs):

Click here for the draft FRMPs.

Click here for the OPW website.

Note: To access the OPW site, you must first accept the Terms and Conditions on the first page you will be redirected to. Then you’ll have the option to search by map, country or community name.