Public initiatives to change behaviours impacting water quality
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Ireland implements the EU Water Framework Directive, which aims to improve water quality, through River Basin Management Plans (RBMPs) in six-year cycles. One aspect of RBMPs is the organisation of community engagement initiatives to increase awareness and build relationships within communities with the objective of improving and protecting water quality, an action that is led by the Local Authority Water Programme (LAWPRO). LAWPRO is a national shared service working on behalf of all 31 local authorities in Ireland. This research explores the extent to which initiatives to build community engagement on water quality and river basin management lead to more sustainable practices both among individuals and community groups.
LAWPRO partner with other organisations and run initiatives in parallel with third party events (e.g., World Wetlands Day). Examples of community engagement events facilitated by LAWPRO include: public consultation meetings, nature-themed public events (e.g., Biodiversity Week), project-related meetings (e.g., rural development, drinking-water source protection), community meetings (e.g., Resident's Association), meetings with angling groups or water recreation clubs, educational/training events, farming group meetings, or water quality-related conferences.