An Taisce wish to make the following submission on the General Scheme of the Water Environment (Abstractions) Bill 2018

An Taisce welcome the opportunity to take part in this public consultation on the General Scheme of the Water Environment (Abstractions) Bill 2018. The Water Environment (Abstractions) Bill 2018 provides for the introduction of a regime for the control of the abstraction of water on a risk-based approach, in order to comply with Ireland’s obligations under the Water Framework Directive (WFD). The WFD outlines that ‘For water quantity, overall principles should be laid down for control on abstraction and impoundment in order to ensure the environmental sustainability of the affected water systems.’ This is most necessary, as in 2015 the European Commission officially identified over-abstraction as the second most common pressures on the ecological status of surface water bodies in the EU. Excessive abstraction significantly affects 10% of surface water bodies and 20% of groundwater bodies.