Water Sources and Resource Management


RPS offers a full range of services from implementation of European water and environmental policy to individually tailored project feasibility studies and designs.

We are at the forefront of developing sustainable water resources management and innovation in physical infrastructure development.

Since the introduction of the Water Framework Directive in 2000, RPS has supported Ireland’s authorities in implementing this holistic, catchment-based approach. River Basin Management Plans were published in 2010 for the first planning cycle from 2009 to 2015 and contain management measures for point and diffuse source pollution, abstractions, physical modifications, as well as emerging threats such as climate change and invasive alien species.

RPS is at the cutting edge of sustainable flood risk management, supporting authorities in the implementation of the EU Floods Directive through Catchment-based Flood Risk Assessment and Management (CFRAM) studies. These studies consider flood risk scenarios today and under future climate change conditions and culminate in Flood Risk Management Plans containing measures in relation to flood prevention, protection and preparedness.

Through our in-house expertise we can project manage, scope issues and conduct baseline surveys. We then identify potential impacts, propose mitigation measures and lead projects through approvals processes, including consultation and oral hearings.

Key services include:

Catchment management

Flood risk assessment and management

Water resource management

Climate change adaptation

Environmental assessment

Project communications

Management plan developments

Risk assessment

Case Studies

Dublin Major Water Sources Project

Dublin Major Water Sources Project Dublin Major Water Sources Project

Dublin City Council

RPS, in joint venture with Veolia Water UK, was appointed by Dublin City Council to undertake the Feasibility Study and Preliminary Report. The JV was led by RPS with Veolia providing specialist technical inputs, particularly in relation to desalination technology.

The Preliminary Report builds on the initial Feasibility Study and the first phase of Strategic Environmental Assessment, which established the framework for the evaluations of the River Shannon and Irish Sea sources as potential solutions. The overriding purpose of the Preliminary Report was to recommend a new sustainable source of drinking water for the Dublin Region to meet anticipated demand growth in the Region to 2031 and beyond.

Freshwater Pearl Mussel Sub-Basin Plan

Freshwater Pearl Mussel Sub-Basin Plan Freshwater Pearl Mussel Sub-Basin Plan

Donegal County Council, Department of Environment, Community, and Local Goverment

RPS provided consultancy services for the development of Freshwater Pearl Mussel Sub-basin Management Plans and is providing consultancy services for a new Freshwater Pearl Mussel Project grant aided under the EU’s INTERREG IVA Programme.

RPS was appointed to prepare Freshwater Pearl Mussel Sub-Basin Management Plans for 27 Freshwater Pearl Mussel catchments. Following initial desk based assessments and publication of consultation plans, an extensive programme of catchment investigations and monitoring took place over a two year period. The main pressures and risks within the catchments were identified and ecological quality objectives established and outlined in the Freshwater Pearl Mussel Regulations, 2009. This project was a key step in the implementation of both the Water Framework Directive and Habitats Directive in Ireland.

The current project involves preparation of management plans for a number of catchments, building on the draft Sub-basin Management Plans. The plans will identify issues relevant to mussel conservation, and propose realistic solutions. Testing of protection measures will be carried out to establish what actions are likely to be effective and cost efficient. Agriculture, forestry and septic tank systems are key areas for consideration. Codes of Practice will be drafted to allow for a sustainable approach that prevents impact on mussels. These will assist agencies, local authorities, public authorities and key stakeholders in relation to proposed developments, works and activities within Freshwater Pearl Mussel catchments.

Shellfish Pollution Reduction Programme Project

Shellfish Pollution Reduction Programme Project Shellfish Pollution Reduction Programme Project

Department of Environment, Community, and Local Government

RPS was appointed to prepare Shellfish Pollution Reduction Programmes (PRPs) for Ireland’s 64 designated shellfish areas in accordance with the Shellfish Directive.

Supporting Characterisation Reports were developed for each shellfish area to establish an initial assessment of compliance with shellfish water quality standards and, following examination of the various pressures and impacts within the catchment of each shellfish area, provide a prioritised list of pressures on water quality in each designated shellfish area.

The Shellfish PRPs identified site-specific actions to be taken in relation to the prioritised pressures to ensure that compliance with shellfish standards is achieved. Strategic Environmental Assessment and Habitats Directive Assessment processes were carried out in tandem with the PRP development process.

The actions specified in the PRPs are derived from the Programmes of Measures outlined in the Water Framework Directive River Basin Management Plans, reflecting the common objective to improve water quality in the two Directives. In addition, designated shellfish areas are part of the Water Framework Register of Protected Areas, providing a further link between the Pollution Reduction Programmes and River Basin Management Planning.