The Water (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 ensures that the Water Framework Directive (as transposed) and the various supporting pieces of water legislation continue to operate here after 1 January 2021. These supporting regulations are listed at Schedule 2 of The Water Environment (Water Framework Directive) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2017.River Basin Management is a key element in implementing the Water Environment (Water Framework Directive) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2017, taking an integrated approach to the protection, improvement and sustainable use of the water environment. It applies to groundwater and to all surface water bodies, including rivers, lakes, transitional (estuarine) and coastal waters out to one nautical mile.
In 2009 the first set of River Basin Management Plans (RBMP) as required by the regulations were published for each River Basin District within Northern Ireland. The Plan identified where our water environment is in good or excellent condition and set out objectives for improvement or prevention of deterioration. As required by the regulations, the Plans are to be reviewed and updated every 6 years. In 2015 the second set of Plans were published providing an overview of changes and progress that have been made. The Plans can be found on the River Basin District pages.