Ireland introduced new water governance structures and processes in 2018 for the second-cycle River Basin Management Plan. These include a three-tier structure comprising:
|Tier 1 –National Management and Oversight||Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage||Policy, necessary legislation and resourcing the Plan. Supported by the Water Policy Advisory Committee which has been established to assist the Minister.|
|Tier 2 – Technical implementation and reporting||Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)||The catchment characterisation process and assisting and advising the Minister.|
|Tier 3 – Regional Implementation||Local Authorities / LAWPRO||Co-ordinating the implementation of measures on the ground, and the local knowledge required for successful delivery of many potential measures.|
The three tier governance structure steers water policy formation and implementation. This structure has facilitated greater collaboration and knowledge transfer across the relevant public bodies and stakeholders. The governance structure is key to the success of ongoing efforts to achieve the water quality goals of the Water Framework Directive in Ireland.