An Fóram Uisce was established in June 2018* to provide a platform for public engagement on all matters relating to water as an environmental, social and economic resource and in the roll out of the River Basin Management Plan for Ireland (2018 – 2021).
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 28 members representing organisations and sectors with an interest in water issues including the environmental sector, the rural and agriculture sector, consumers including customers of Irish Water, the rural water sector, river trusts, angling and water sports, the business sector, trade unions, the community and voluntary sector, fisheries and aquaculture, forestry, education, social housing and tourism. Approximately 50 different organisations were involved in the nomination of the members.
In accordance with the requirements of the Water Services Act 2017, An Fóram has advisory roles to the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government in relation to Government Water Policy; the Commission for Regulation of Utilities in relation to the performance by Irish Water and the Water Policy Advisory Committee in relation to River Basin Management Plans. An Fóram is also required to make recommendations to Irish Water in relation to the performance of its functions.
An Fóram is an independent entity and has the discretion to determine its own work programme and means of communicating its views and analysis.
An Fóram provides an opportunity for stakeholders to debate and analyse a range of issues with regard to water quality, rural water concerns, issues affecting customers of Irish Water and the implementation of the Water Framework Directive and the River Basin Management Plan for Ireland 2018-2021.
The Water Services Act 2017 provides the statutory basis for An Fóram. The Act also provided for the dissolution of the Public Water Forum (whose remit was primarily concerned with issues pertinent to Irish Water and the Regulator) and the National Rural Water Services Committee ( the committee for addressing issues regarding rural water), with their functions being incorporated into An Fóram.
An Fóram is headquartered in the Civic Offices, Limerick Road, Nenagh, County Tipperary.