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Long Term Water Strategy

Water is essential for all life: humans, animals, and plant life require water to survive. We use water for drinking, sanitation, food preparation and for agricultural and industrial purposes. The aquatic environment also provides a valuable amenity for recreation, leisure and tourism.

Water is a finite natural resource.  It should be used efficiently, with a minimum of waste. We can only do this through effective planning for the future.  In order to do this we need to look at every part of the water cycle; from rainfall through to drainage and the supply and treatment of drinking water.

Government has now prepared a draft Long Term Water Strategy to help achieve our vision.to have a sustainable water sector in Northern Ireland.  With this in mind the following four high level aims have been developed by governmnet to cover the key water needs within a catchment and they form the chapters of the Long Term Water Strategy.

  • provide high quality sustainable supplies of drinking water to households, industry and agriculture;
  • manage flood risk and drainage in a sustainable manner;
  • achieve the environmental requirements of the Water Framework Directive in a sustainable manner: and
  • provide sustainable reliable water and sewerage services that meet customers' needs.

While the strategy is being led by the Department for Regional Development, the document itself was informed by all water stakeholders. The key stakeholders responsible for preparing the initial draft Long Term Water Strategy were Northern Ireland Water, Rivers Agency, Northern Ireland Environment Agency and the Department for Regional Development.

The Department for Regional Development launched a 16 week public consultation in June 2014 on a draft Long Term Water Strategy.  The documeny sought the views of the public on the proposed actions and way forward.  These views will help inform the development of the final Strategy.

Although the public consultation has now closed, copies of the chapters of the draft Long Term Water Strategy are available in electronic form at:-

The draft Strategy is now being revised in light of comments received and a Public Consultation Report will be published in the near future.

The final Strategy will be pubished in the summer of 2015 subject to approval by the Minister for Regional Development and the Northen Ireland Executive.

A Strategy Implementation Action Plan will then be prepared containing actions aimed at delivering the high level proposed measures in the Strategy.  Actions will be a mix of short, medium and long term to cover the Strategy's 25 year outlook.

How you can get involved:

If you are interested in contributing to the long term water strategy you can contact the Water Strategy Team

email: waterstrategy@drdni.gov.uk
telephone: 02890 542985