River and Lake Water Quality Monitoring

Community Water Development Fund: grants to help communities protect their local waters in 2024

The LAWPRO Community Water Development Fund 2024 is now open for applications. Your local community or voluntary group can now apply for a Community Water Development Fund (CWDF) grant for a project in 2024. The Community Water Development Fund helps local communities deliver projects and initiatives that enhance your local water environment, delivering multiple benefits for water quality, biodiversity and climate action.

The Local Authority Waters Programme (LAWPRO) administers the Fund on behalf of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage. There will be €520,000 available in grants under the 2024 Call. The Fund is open to all community and voluntary groups to help in the protection and management of water quality, both locally and in the wider catchment.

  • Grants awarded will range from €1,000 to €25,000
  • Interested community and voluntary groups can download the Guidelines and complete the grant application form online at www.lawaters.ie
  • For support with your application contact your local Éanna Gallagher Community Water Officer for the Dublin and Fingal Region   [email protected]  
  • The closing date for receipt of applications is 12 noon on Wednesday 6th Dec 2023  Read more here
Draft RiverBasin Management Plan
Broadmeadow Water Body

An EPA public consultation is now open on the candidate Heavily Modified Waterbodies (HMWBs) as part of the River Basin Management Plan. The closing date for submissions is 30th April 2022.

The purpose of this consultation is to seek your views on the designation of heavily modified waterbodies, and the review process that has been conducted to feed into the final river basin management plan for 2022-2027. Please forward any comments you may have to [email protected]

Broadmeadow Water is named as one of the 13 National TraC (Transitional and Costal) water bodies identified as HMWBs, the sole water body identified in Fingal County Council.

A high level summary of the designation review can be found at https://www.catchments.ie/public-consultation-on-the-designation-of-heavily-modified-waterbodies-for-the-third-cycle-river-basin-management-plan/

A technical review document and the list of HMWB candidates can be found here: https://www.epa.ie/publications/corporate/consultations/-consultations/Technical-review-of-HMWB-designation_March-2022.pdf  Broadmeadow Water case study can be found in section 5.3.2 of this document.


Crayfish Plague is recognised as a very significant threat to the survival of the globally threatened White-Clawed Crayfish which is commonly found in many lakes, rivers and streams in Ireland.  It is an important part of the river ecosystem as it is a grazer of plants and is food for the otter.  The White-clawed crayfish is a protected species ((White-clawed Crayfish Austropotamobius pallipes | National Parks & Wildlife Service (npws.ie)).

This disease is considered fatal to all infected native crayfish and where outbreaks occur there is complete extermination of the White-clawed Crayfish populations. 

The disease is spread invisibly in water and the infectious stage may be moved to other rivers, lakes and streams on wet equipment, boats and machinery.

If White-clawed Crayfish is to survive in Ireland, then the threat and impact of disease must be contained.  This requires all water users ((recreational users, anglers, scientific assessment/samplers etc)  taking all practical measures to prevent its spread to unaffected catchments.


What can you do?


The single most effective action is to use the Check, Clean, Dry protocol routinely before and after visiting a river or lake.  Check, Clean and allow all equipment to thoroughly DRY-out then dry for further 48 hours.

CHECK – all equipment and remove of any plant and animal matter before leaving a site and again before entering a new site.

CLEAN – Disinfect equipment with an approved disinfectant - see advice below from the National Biodiversity Data Centre

DRY – Ensure equipment is allowed to dry before entering a new site and any residual water is drained from boats etc before leaving a site, see further advice below.

Link here to the National Biodiversity Data Centre information on Crayfish plague - Biodiversity Ireland Maps showing the extent of the outbreaks in Ireland are available at this link.

If drying out equipment is not feasible then equipment should be:

Power Steam washed at a suitably high temperature (at least above 65 degrees) – use of mobile steam power washers or use of nearby power washers at Service stations as an alternative.

Disinfect everything using an approved disinfectant such as Milton (follow product label), Virkon Aquatic (3mg/L), Proxitane (30mg/L) or an iodine-based product for 15 minutes. Items difficult to soak can be sprayed or wiped down with disinfectant.

Engine coolant water or residual water in boats/kayaks should be drained and where possible flushed out with disinfectant.  See leaflet for boats users here; https://www.biodiversityireland.ie/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/IFI_boaters-leaflet-1.pdf



Become familiar with the identification of the native and non-native crayfish: view crayfish identification tips.

Click here to view images: Native White-clawed crayfish photos of body: topside may have a slightly wrinkled appearance, and normally a brown to olive colour. Underside pinkish-white.


  • Immediately report all suspected sightings of non-native crayfish or dead native White-clawed Crayfish through the online form or to  [email protected]  with location coordinates and your contact details. If possible, please supply a photo of the crayfish showing the underside of the claws to aid in verifying the sighting.
  • Follow the Crayfish Reporting and Sampling Protocol document updated July, 2019.
  • Do not release any non-native crayfish into Ireland’s waters, it is illegal to do so.



Please circulate this species alert as widely as possible.

The Government has published the River Basin Management Plan for Ireland 2018-2021. The Plan sets out the actions or measures that Ireland will take to improve water quality and achieve ‘good’ ecological status in water bodies (rivers, lakes, estuaries and coastal waters) by 2027 as is required under the Water Framework Directive (WFD). Measures include the following:

  • Planned investment by Irish Water of approximately €1.7 billion in waste-water projects;
  • Deployment of 43 local authority investigative assessment personnel, who will work in Prioritised Areas for Action;
  • Improved controls for the management of water abstractions;
  • A new collaborative Sustainability and Advisory Support Programme between Government and the dairy industry, consisting of 30 Sustainability Advisors promoting agricultural best practice in 190 Areas for Action;
  • The development and implementation of a “Blue Dot Catchments Programme” for the protection of high-status waters; and
  • The extension of the grant scheme for repairs, upgrade and replacement of domestic waste-water treatment systems, with priority given to high-status catchments.

The Prioritised Areas for Action within Fingal as outlined in the Plan are the catchments of Rogerstown Estuary, Santry River, Mayne River and Upper Tolka.

Stakeholder and public engagement is being led by the recently-established Water Forum (An Fóram Uisce) and the Local Authority Waters and Communities Office (LAWCO). LAWCO drives public engagement, participation and consultation with communities and stakeholders at local and regional level. This engagement is further supported by www.catchments.ie and www.watersandcommunities.ie and by a wide range of other activities aimed at facilitating and encouraging engagement.

If you need more information or you would like to get involved in improving water quality, please contact the Local Authority Waters and Communities Office.

E: Mail:   [email protected]

Phone: 0761065262

Website: www.watersandcommunities.ie 

Further information is available at