The 2nd National Water Summit 2008

The essential meeting place for Ireland's Water Professionals

Water reform continues to dominate politics, business and industry. Building and developing our water strategy remains an extremely important challenge especially in terms of effective management, legislation, sustainability & supply, conservation and quality.

Water is without doubt the biggest challenge of the 21st century. At a time when the water industry is experiencing unprecedented challenges and the question of infrastructure development looms large on the horizon, the National Water Summit is set to become this year’s most topical industry event - with a programme focused firmly on usage reform, quality and conservation and effective water management.

Innovation is vital and the National Water Summit will be canvassing some of the latest strategies for meeting demand and sourcing and securing water supply.

2008 has seen significant developments happening for one of Ireland’s most important natural resources. One of the main challenges that Ireland faces over the next decade is to achieve ‘good water status’ for all waters by 2015, as set out in the Water Framework Directive (WFD).

The industry is also facing the challenges beset from the profound impact of climate change which has been felt more than ever over the past 12 months. The water services investment programme comprises of some 955 projects with a capital value of €5.8 billion. The importance of the success and timely delivery of these initiatives is vital in order to meet the needs of our growing population and increasing commercial demands.

The 2nd National Water Summit will once again provide a forum for the entire water industry to debate the future direction of the sector. Following the success of the inaugural event, the 2nd annual National Water Summit will bring together Ireland’s leading water experts who will meet to debate industry reforms, current challenges and opportunities and other initiatives - critical for the sustainability of the water industry.

Who should attend
This conference has been researched and designed for key decision-makers including -

  • Local Authority Managers
  • Local Authority Engineers
  • Heads of Water Services/Supply
  • General Managers (Asset Mgt, Planning, Maintenance, Recycling, Wastewater Mgt)
  • Project Directors/Managers
  • Procurement Managers
  • Infrastructure Managers
  • Planning Officials
  • Technical Managers
  • Large Water Users
  • Consultants
  • Finance & Legal Managers.

Core subjects to be tackled include -

  • Climate change and the required paradigm shifts in water management
  • The carbon critical design agenda
  • Water policy and water usage reform - strategic priorities
  • New directives and standards - tools for the trade
  • The water framework directive - the way forward
  • Charging
  • Water conservation
  • Assessing the cryptosporidium risk - panel debate
  • Security of supply
  • Major capital water projects update
  • Flexible approaches to infrastructure delivery
  • Charging / water demand on schemes before and after charging
  • Private schemes
  • River basin management plans
  • Relationship between septic tanks / wastewater treatment systems and water pollution
  • Waste water management strategies
  • Water/wastewater treatment.

Sample list of companies in attendance at the 2007 Water Summit
Trinity College, USGS Georgia Water Science Ctr, Department of the Environment, EPS, Northern Ireland Water, ESAI, A&L; Goodbody Solicitors, South Western River Basin District, Celtic Water Management UK, KPMG, Scottish Water, Earth Tech Ireland, IFA, National University of Ireland, Bord na Móna Environmental Ltd, Muin Associates, Cavan County Council, Anord Control Systems Ltd, Tobin Consulting, Cork County Council, South Tipperary County Council, Sligo County Council, Severn Trent Services International, Fingal County Council, Limerick County Council, Parsons Brinckerhoff Ireland, Sisk Construction,Treatment Systems Services Ltd, McCann Fitzgerald, Wicklow County Council, Galway County Council, Shay Murtagh, Forfas, HRD Technologies.


Dr Ike van der Putte, Director, RPS
Dr Ike van der Putte is Director of External Relations and International Environmental Affairs with RPS in the Netherlands. RPS is an international consultancy providing advice on the responsible development of natural resources, land and property, the management of the environment and the health and safety of people.

Dr van der Putte is a member of the Sustainable Development Task Force of the International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC) and former chairman of the environment committees of FIDIC and the European Federation of Consulting Engineers (EFCA). He is the main author of the FIDIC business guideline for environment and co-author of the FIDIC guidelines on sustainable development and project sustainability management.

In the Netherlands he is chairman of the committee on natural disaster reduction and mitigation of the Netherlands Association of Consulting Engineers (ONRI) and advisory board member of the International Conference Centre (Amsterdam RAI - Aquaterra) on sustainable development in delta areas. He is currently chairman of the board of the UNEP Sustainable Buildings and Construction Initiative (UNEP/SBCI) and member of its Benchmarking and Climate Change Think Tanks.

Professor John Anthony Allan
Professor John Anthony Allan heads the Water Research Group at King's College London/SOAS.
He specialises in the analysis of water resources in semi-arid regions and on the role of global systems in ameliorating local and regional water deficits. His original background was in hyrdological and environmental sciences.

Professor Allan now focuses on the social and political issues because they explain why people manage water as they do. In the past decade he has provided advice to governments in the Middle East region [Jordan, Egypt, Libya, Palestine] and agencies [World Bank, FAO, UNDP, DFID, Netherlands MFA, Swedish MFA] and especially in the Middle East on water policy and water policy reform.

Professor Allan's most recent book is entitled - The Middle East water question: hydropolitics and the global economy. The KCL/SOAS Water Research Group has had a major influence on strategic thinking on water resources by drawing attention to the non-water sector solutions that very effectively address water deficits - namely trade and socio-economic development. Their other research and consultancy focuses on water policy reform, on financing investment in water infrastructure and international relations over transboundary waters. He was awarded the Stockholm Water Prize in August 2008.

Dr Colin Fricker, CRF Consulting
Dr Colin Fricker has 30 years experience in environmental microbiology, much of it working directly with the water industry. He received his PhD from University of Reading 1987.

Fricker was awarded the WH Pierce prize for 'outstanding contributions to microbiology 1986'. He was former Head of Microbiology, Thames Water, UK and now runs an international consulting company covering many aspects of water quality. Dr Fricker is heavily involved in the development of methods for the detection of cryptosporidium in water. He was scientific adviser to the Royal Commission investigating the Sydney Water Crisis in 1998 and works extensively in North and South America, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

Tony Iles, MSc, BSc, Associate Director, Atkins
A G Iles, associate director, Atkins Water & Environment, MSc, BSc is also an associate director within Atkins Environmental Sustainability team.
Tony has over 30 year’s practical experience of environmental assessment and management and is currently on the Carbon Critical Design leadership team at Atkins.

He has recently completed a secondment to BERR where he assisted in writing the UK Strategy for Sustainable Construction. He is currently on part-time secondment to the Construction Industry Council where he is Chair of the Carbon Working Group. The role of this group is to work with the professional bodies and the Strategic Forum for Construction in the delivery of low carbon design.

Tony has been fundamentally involved with Carbon Critical Design change process within Atkins, including the design of internal training courses and providing leadership on strategic discussions with Atkins clients - aiming to change the design question to provide a focus on zero carbon design and construction.



DAY 1 - Tuesday October 22nd 2008

8:00 Registration and a light breakfast

8:45 Chairperson’s opening remarks
Professor Yvonne Scannel, Law School, Trinity College Dublin and Environmental Law Group, Arthur Cox, Solicitors


Michael Kitt, TD
Minister of State, Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government


Climate Change and required Paradigm Shifts in Water Management

Dr Ike van der Putte, Director, RPS

Climate change and sustainability require new thinking and approaches. In various sectors of water management paradigm shifts are already visible and new ones are still needed. Illustrative examples in various fields will be provided, including -

  • Flood risk management ('from fail safe to safe fail')
  • Water resource management (conservation and recycling)
  • Waste water treatment (centralised/decentralised)
  • Urban infrastructure and buildings (water aspects and multi-functional use)


Carbon Critical Design

Tony Iles, Associate Director, Atkins

The Carbon Critical Design Agenda addresses the question of how we move from a 'sustainable design' environment to a fundamental rethink of the design process in the water sector and generally across the built environment.

Carbon Design Awareness; Processes and Tools; Exemplar projects.


Legislation required to support the river basin management planning process

Dr. Colin Byrne
Water Inspector, Water Inspectorate, Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government

Colin Byrne will provide an update on the legislative provisions made to give effect to the river basin planning process. He will also outline forthcoming legislation intended to give further effect to the Water Framework Directive.

10:30 Morning break & exhibition viewing

10:55 River Basin Management Plans

Ray Spain

Project Co-ordinator, South Eastern River Basin Project, Carlow County Council

We have all heard about them - so what’s going to be in them? What will they mean for Local Authorities and all other water stakeholders? Will there be real change or will it just be cosmetic? Ray Spain will give an introduction to the River Basin Management Plans and attempt to provide answers to some of the questions above.

11:20 Implementation of the Drinking Water Regulations - Providing Safe and Secure Drinking Water

Darragh Page

Inspector, Office of Environmental Enforcement, EPA

  • An overview of the EPA
  • Enforcement activities to date
  • The remedial action list
  • The new approach of the Drinking Water Safety Plan.

11:40 Dublin Region Water Supply – Future Strategic Source Needs and Options

Jerry Grant

Managing Director, RPS

  • Dublin Region Water Demand to 2030 and beyond
  • Measures to minimise usage and waste
  • Measures to optimise local production
  • Strategic options for new long term sources
  • Key criteria for assessment of these options
  • Current project status.

12:05 Water Resources: The Next 50 Years
Trevor Bishop, Head of Water Resource Management, The Environment Agency, UK

Water resource management across England and Wales is currently at the cusp of an important step change. For over a century they have relied upon predicting future demands for water and building new resources to meet those demands. The very real challenges of climate change adaptation, the carbon agenda and sustainable development mean that the UK is now making a genuine shifting towards managing water demands downwards rather than relying exclusively on creating ever more resources.

This presentation will explore a number of key issues including the emerging links between carbon and water, metering, the use of tariffs and the concerns associated with water affordability.

12:40 Lunch & Exhibition Viewing

1:55 Welcome back from the afternoon chair


2:00 Integration of environmental policies through the spatial planning process - the case for Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and The Water Framework Directive (WFD)
Declan Egan, Associate, Fehily Timoney & Co

2:20 The Benefits for Accreditation / Certification in Public Services. Use of International Standards
Pat O’Brien, Irish National Accreditation Board

2:40 Management & Service Delivery
Dr Shirley Gallagher

  • ISO 24510:2008
    Activities related to drinking water and wastewater services, guidelines for the assessment and for the improvement of the service to users
  • ISO 24511:2008
    Activities related to drinking water and wastewater services, guidelines for the management of wastewater utilities’ and for the assessment of wastewater services
  • ISO 24512:2008
    Activities related to drinking water and wastewater services, guidelines for the management of drinking water utilities’ and for the assessment of drinking water.

3:00 Afternoon Break & Exhibition Viewing

3:20 Energy Standard 1S0 393: Carbon Agenda: Case Study - Savings to be made
Dr John Ryan, COO, Certification Europe

3:45 PANEL DISCUSSION: The Water Framework Directive – the way forward
Panellists will include leading industry figures including -
Jack Keyes, Cavan County Council
Thomas Ryan, IFA
Dr Colin Byrne, Water Inspector, Water Inspectorate, Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government
Dr Paul Johnston, Trinity College, Dublin

4:30 Day 1 CLOSE

Day 2 – Thursday, October 23, 2008

8:00 Registration and a light breakfast

8:45 Welcome from Morning Chair

Kevin Murray

Director (Ireland, Water), ATKINS


8:50 INTERNATIONAL OPENING ADDRESS: Three weddings and avoiding two funerals: water, food, energy and climate change

Professor John Anthony Allen

Kings College London (winner of the 2008 Stockholm Water Prize)

Three weddings -

  • water from (clean) energy
  • (clean) energy from water and the biosphere
  • international 'trade' in energy and water.

Avoiding two funerals - avoiding the terminal impairment of the environmental services of:

  • the atmosphere
  • water environments.

9:30 Benefits and pitfalls of Cryptosporidium risk assessments
Dr Colin Fricker, Principal, CRF Consulting

9:45 PANEL DISCUSSION: Assessing the Cryptosporidium Risk
Panellists will include leading industry figures including -
Dr Malcolm Bell, Director, Technopath
Dr Colm Fricker, Principal, CRF Consulting
Mary O’Callaghan, NUI Galway
Dr Christopher Luke, Emergency medicine, CUH
Mr Paul Dansie, Atkins.

10:30 Morning break & exhibition viewing

10:55 Case Study: Western River Basin District - Galway Crisis

Shane O’Neill

M.D, O’Neill Groundwater Engineering

  • What’s in the Water Framework Directive to protect water supplies?
  • The causes of the Cryptosporidium outbreak in Galway city water supply
  • Western River Basin District draft River Basin Plan
  • Could the Cryptosporidium incident occur again?


11:20 Water Troubles In Northern Ireland: The Recommendations of the Independent Review Panel

Professor Paddy Hillyard

Queens University, Independent Water Review Panel

  • The context of the review
  • Terms of references
  • Recommendations on costs and funding
  • Recommendations on management, governance and delivery

11:45 Water Conservation and Demand Management in the Rural Group Water Scheme Sector
Colm Brady, National Federation of Group Water Schemes

  • Key drivers for demand management strategies
  • Key components of a rural water demand management strategy
  • Metering as a key component
  • Impacts on water demand as a consequence of implementing demand management strategies.

12:10 Water Charging on Public Water Schemes
Kathleen McTiernan, Rural Water Liaison Officer, Co Sligo

  • Up to Date Position on Metering Project
  • Water Charges – Schools
  • Water Charges – Commercial Sector
  • Water Charges – Farming Sector
  • Benefits of Metering in all sectors from Local Authority point of view
  • Advantages and Disadvantages from Consumer point of view
  • Challenges for future.

12:40 Lunch & Exhibition Viewing

1:50 Welcome back from Afternoon Chair

Dr Peter Brennan

EPS Consulting

Is effective water management possible without metering?

  • What does the industry want from metering?
  • What do we really need to measure?
  • Challenges of implementing charging schemes.
    Panellists will include leading industry figures including -
    Sue Scott, ERSI
    Sinéad O’Brien, SWAN Environmental NGO
    Colm Brady, National Federation of Group Water Schemes
    Kathleen McTiernan, Rural Water Liaison Officer, Co Sligo
    Professor Paddy Hillyard, Queens University, Belfast Independent Water Review Panel
    Alan Garthy, Fingal County Council.

2:40 On-site wastewater treatment systems and water quality: A need for a better understanding

Dr Valerie McCarthy
Post-postdoctoral Researcher, National Centre for Freshwater Studies
Dundalk Institute of Technology, Dundalk

The National on-site wastewater treatment systems (OSWTS) study aims to identify the potential risk of OSWTS to surface water quality, owing to system malfunction, lack of maintenance or incorrect site location.
A component of this project involves a study of the effect of OSWTS on surface water quality in the Milltown Lake Catchment in Co Monaghan and aims to address the general deficit of reliable and quantifiable data on the collective influences of OSWTS on a catchment wide basis.

3:10 Protecting our water from landfill leachate contamination

Edel Brennan

Operations Manager, Response Group

  • What is landfill leachate?
  • The nature of the problem
  • Innovative treatment solutions
  • Regulatory requirements
  • A case study in action.

3:30 Afternoon Break & Exhibition Viewing


3:50 Waste Water Discharge (Authorisation) Regulations, 2007 - the situation so far
Breen Higgins, Inspector, Environmental Licensing Programme, Office of Climate, Licensing & Resource Use

  • The context of the regulations
  • Progress on authorisations to date
  • The future scenario
  • Implications for water services authorities.

4:10 Planning for cost effective waste water management

Alec Fleming

County Manager, Clare County Council

  • Approach to recycling
  • Biological options
  • Developing cost effective processes
  • Capital expenditure
  • Waste to energy recovery
  • SUDS
  • Treatement
  • Monitoring
  • Implementation of standards
  • Climate change.

4:30 Case Study: Cavan County Council: Bye-Law for Septic Tanks

Jack Keyes

Cavan County Council

4:50 Conference Close



There are a number of promotional opportunities available that will increase your brand profile and generate business leads among decision-makers attending this event.

For details, call Suzanne Brennan on 087 9191 292 or email: [email protected]



RPS is Ireland’s largest all-island multi-disciplinary consultancy. We provide services in Sustainability, Planning, Urban Design, Environment and the full range of engineering consultancy disciplines. In Ireland, RPS employs 1,200 professional and technical support personnel based in 12 offices at various locations in Dublin, Belfast, Cork, Galway, Limerick,Waterford and Letterkenny.

Our main areas of business range from feasibility, planning, design, stakeholder services, procurement, and construction supervision of major public and private sector projects.

RPS has over 40 years experience in water resources and water service areas, we are at the forefront of developing sustainable water resources and physical infrastructure. Our specialist engineers and scientists are playing a leading role in implementing the EU Water Framework Directive and in developing sustainable best practice in water resource management. We are consultants for most of Ireland’s River Basin District (RBD) projects, including the Shannon, Cork, South Eastern and Northern Ireland regions.

We also have a major track record in catchment flood risk management and assessment. Projects include the River Tolka Flood Relief Scheme and we are currently completing a major flood study for the River Dodder.We played a leading role in the Greater Dublin Strategic Drainage Study and are leading advisers on Sustainable Drainage studies.

Internationally, RPS water specialists are experts in water management, flooding and urban drainage and specialise in human health, toxicology and environmental management.

RPS provides project management and design/advisory services on projects across many disciplines. Current projects include the Limerick Shannon Tunnel, Ballymore Eustace Water Treatment Plant, Extension to Dublin Airport Terminal 1, Limerick city water treatment plant, Dell TSS Limerick, Galway-Ballinasloe Motorway and Corrib Onshore Pipeline in Co Mayo.We are also managing the Government’s five-year Climate Change Awareness Campaign.

RPS Services Include -

  • Source Identification & Abstraction
  • Source Protection & Management
  • Water / Wastewater Treatment
  • Flooding & Climate Change
  • Water Quality
  • Sustainable Urban Drainage
  • Coastal Processes
  • Marine Engineering.

Atkins is the largest engineering consultancy in the UK and Ireland, the largest multidisciplinary consultancy in Europe and the third largest design team in the world (

Our staff include engineers, architects, surveyors, cost and project managers, planners, management consultants, geologists and experts in information technology, telecommunications and environmental management. The majority of our work is focused on the efficient operation of our clients' capital programmes.

We -

  • Plan all aspects of our clients' projects - conducting studies covering technical, logistical, legal, environmental and financial considerations.
  • Design systems, processes, buildings and civil structures. We develop cutting-edge solutions and combine them with tried and tested technologies to achieve an optimal result.
  • Enable complex programmes, delivering one-off projects and managing ongoing processes to reduce timescales, cost and disruption - allowing our clients to focus on their core operations.

Our Irish offices are in Dublin, Cork, Galway and Belfast.

Founded in 1998, Response is one of Ireland’s most dynamic and innovative providers of water treatment services for both public and private sector clients. From drinking water to the treatment of waste water and industrial effluent, Response offers a range of turnkey solutions for municipal and industrial plants incorporating design, contract, operation and maintenance capability.

With a reputation for innovation in water management, Response played an instrumental role in upgrading the works at the Terryland water treatment plant in Co Galway in order to combat the Cryptosporidium outbreak.

An Irish-owned company, comprising 450 employees, the Response Group offices are located in Cork, Charleville, Carlow and Donegal, with an overseas operation in Scotland. The company is committed to growing the business internationally and has recently entered into a cooperation agreement with a Polish company to establish a footing in this particular market.


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Contact information

Pamela Vymazal
Conference Organiser
Tel: 01-6026043 / 01-6026000
Fax: 01-4786198
Email: [email protected]
Address: The Sunday Business Post, 80 Harcourt Street, Dublin 2



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