An Fóram Uisce –
The Water Forum

Looking after Ireland’s water resources

Chairperson's Welcome
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Request for Research – Invasive Alien Species

An Fóram Uisce requests submissions to undertake research entitled “Understanding the constraints of, and developing pathways for improving the management of Invasive Alien Species in the Republic of Ireland“. For

Water Advisory Board Q2 2020 Report

Established in June 2018, the purpose of the Water Advisory Body (WAB) is to advise the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage on measures needed to improve the transparency

Still time to complete our Education Survey

AN FÓRAM UISCE SURVEY OF NON-FORMAL WATER EDUCATORS The purpose of this survey is to develop An Fóram’s understanding of the non-formal water education sector across Ireland. The results are
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An Fóram Uisce was established as a statutory body in June 2018 having been provided for in the Water Services Act 2017. The purpose of An Fóram is to provide a vehicle for strengthening democratic input into our decision making regarding water as a fundamental national asset. Such decisions are pivotal not only to society today but to the wider ecosystem and to posterity.

Prof. Tom Collins, Chairperson

An Fóram Uisce was established as a statutory body in June 2018 having been provided for in the Water Services Act 2017. The purpose of An Fóram is to provide a vehicle for strengthening democratic input into our decision making regarding water as a fundamental national asset. Such decisions are pivotal not only to society today but to the wider ecosystem and to posterity.

The global and national environmental challenge is multi dimensional. It includes global warming and climate change; the loss of biodiversity; the acidification of the oceans and the persistent decline in the quality of ground water and surface water bodies. These challenges become manifest in critical weather events, in geo-political conflict, in food security, in urban planning and in the broad thrust of economic opportunity and direction.

These challenges mean that the environmental question becomes central in all elements of global decision making and national policy.

Against this backdrop, An Fóram provides a mechanism for feeding into the debate amongst stakeholders at national level. It does this by facilitating the sharing of information and perspectives; enhancing understanding and enriching policy formation.

There is also a need for greater public awareness on the centrality of high quality water, both as an end in itself but also as a barometer of the wider environmental and ecosystem health. An Fóram aims to increase the consciousness of the public of the vulnerability of our water resource and on the interplay between individual behaviour, community, sectoral and societal norms and national policies.
In advising the Minister on objectives, approaches and initiatives relevant to the attainment of good status in our water bodies, An Fóram is charged with taking on board the sometimes different or competing interests of its stakeholders while never departing from the core objective of water quality enhancement.

An Fóram must constantly challenge itself to bring added value to this national project,complementing and critiquing the work of the many statutory bodies with a role in this field. Its diverse, interdisciplinary composition lends it a particular strength in this regard. Thus, it can contribute to the debate and the decision making on priorities; heighten public awareness of the water quality challenge through the many organisations represented on it ; secure organisational buy-in or stakeholder consensus on conservation initiatives which might otherwise encounter public resistance and point to policy options which might not otherwise arise.

If An Fóram, however, is to transcend the role of a brokerage function between competing interests, it must be motivated by an ethos of commitment to public service in its broadest sense and by the realisation of the holistic nature of the eco system which means that all individual acts either detract from or enhance the health of the totality.

Ireland has an extensive and impressive array of scientific/research and regulatory bodies and capability in the environmental domain. As the inter relationships between the different elements of environmental degradation become manifest, the need for integration and cohesion between these bodies, policy makers and the public becomes all the more pressing. This integration begins with a conversation and cannot happen without such a conversation. An Fóram considers that a key part of its job is to ensure that this conversation happens.

An Fóram is the only statutory body representative of all stakeholders with an interest in the quality of Ireland’s water bodies. It consists of 26 members representing a wide range of organisations with direct connections to issues relating to water quality and also public water consumers. Approximately 50 different organisations were involved in the nomination of the members.

Stakeholders Members
Angling Martin McEnroe - Anglers
Agriculture Dominic Cronin - Irish Co-operative Society (ICOS); Denis Drennan - Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA); Derry Dillon - MACRA; Paul O'Brien - Irish Farmers Association (IFA)
Business Neil Walker - Irish Business & Employers Confederation (IBEC)
Community and Voluntary Issy Petrie - St. Vincent de Paul; Gerald Quain - Irish Rural Link
Education Suzanne Linnane - Dundalk Institute of Technology
Environment Bernadette Connolly - Cork Environmental Forum; Ollan Herr - Zero Waste Alliance; Sinead O’Brien - Sustainable Water Network (SWAN); Elaine McGoff - An Taisce; Charles Stanley-Smith - The Environment Pillar
Fisheries/Aquaculture Vacant
Forestry Brendan Fitzsimons - Tree Council of Ireland
General Consumers Connie Rochford, Keith Hyland, Laurie Kearon
National Federation of Group Water Schemes Barry Deane, Jean Rosney
Recreation Dr. Tim Butter (Irish Underwater Council)
Rivers Trusts Tom Harrington (Maigue Rivers Trust)
Social Housing David Wright
Tourism Tim Fenn - Irish Hotels Federation (IHF)
Trade Unions Liam Berney - Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU)

Prof. Tom Collins represents An Foram Uisce on the Water Advisory Board
Donal Purcell represents AFU on the Co-ordination and Management Committee for the River Basin Management Plan

Donal Purcell

Senior Executive Officer
Donal@nationalwaterforum.ie

Alec Rolston

Research Lead
Alec@nationalwaterforum.ie

Gretta McCarron

Communications and Education Lead
Gretta@nationalwaterforum.ie

Martina Ryan

Clerical Officer

martina@nationalwaterforum.ie

 

 

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