EPA Hydrological Data

The EPA is the competent authority for river basin management planning in Ireland under the Water Framework Directive (WFD).The EPA also runs a national surface water and groundwater monitoring and assessment program. As part of these responsibilities, the EPA GIS Team manages a number of national hydrological GIS layers. This includes eight different “catchments” layers which have different layers of granularity and come from different sources.

The latest additions are the new WFD catchments and subcatchments layers, released in January 2016, which were developed specifically for catchment characterisation for the 2015-2021 river basin management planning cycle for Ireland (under the WFD).

Coincident with these features are the 1:50,000 OSi river stretches and river waterbodies created and managed by the EPA. The river basin district and water management unit datasets were created at an earlier stage of WFD river basin planning (2009 – 2015).

The EPA also hosts a suite of catchment layers pre-dating the WFD, generated before 2005. This consists of hydrometric areas, catchments, subcatchments and river basin datasets.

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Most recent data update


What is in the download?

Files are presented as zipped ESRI Shapefiles.

  • • Series of 10 Shapefiles re EPA Hydrological Data;
  • • Catchments_DatasetUpdates_2017.docx;
  • • AboutEPACatchments_Apr2017.pdf;
  • • Metadata.csv;

The PDF contains information detailing the contents of the Hydrological Datasets presented in this data package.

Metadata.csv contains links to metadata created by the EPA and hosted on GeoNetwork.