For future courses please register you expression of Interest at https://www.lasntg.ie/catchment-science-and-management-course-EOI

Course rationale 

Local authorities will have a greater role in the delivery of the River Basin Management Plan (2022-2027). This course is designed to support local authorities deliver on their roles in this regard and is in response to requests for upskilling in the field of catchment science from local authority operational staff and management.

The course will cover the practical steps involved in the catchment science essentials, including the principals and practical applications unpinning Integrated Catchment Management, desktop and field investigations, interrogating the data, using best available information, databases and maps, stakeholder participation and public engagement. The course takes a holistic approach and should serve as a key tool in assisting each local authority apply catchment science to their water service delivery remit.


The variability and complexity of our biophysical environment – soils, subsoils, bedrock, ecosystems and weather – makes assessing and determining water movement in the Irish landscape both interesting and demanding. Add to this situation the heterogeneity of human activities locally and regionally, whether in towns or in rural areas, then the challenge of achieving effective water resources and related ecosystem management is apparent.

The key to successful protection and management of our water resources is understanding the situation in catchments and then basing the actions/measures to protect water quality, where it is satisfactory, or improve/restore, where it is unsatisfactory, on this understanding.

Catchment science is the study of the dynamic interactions between the physical catchment landscape, the ecosystems that sit within that landscape, and the human activities that can cause impacts to ecosystems in that landscape (Deakin, 2017). These three elements are all linked within the source-pathway-receptor (SPR) framework, which is illustrated in the diagram below. Therefore, catchment science is critical to providing the understanding mentioned above.

To access this page please email csmtraining@lawaters.ie