DfI Rivers - an overview

Part of: DfI management and structure

The aim of DfI Rivers is to reduce the risk to life and damage to property from flooding from rivers and the sea and to undertake watercourse and coastal flood management in a sustainable manner.

Our vision is to manage flood risk to facilitate the social, economic and environmental development of Northern Ireland.

To achieve our aim and vision, we will take forward the delivery of flood risk management in accordance with 'Living with Rivers and the Sea'. This is the Government’s Response to the Independent Flood Management Policy Review (2008).

Please inform us if you have any feedback or contact us if you require more information. 

Vision and aims

Vision

Our vision is to manage the flood risk to facilitate the social, economic and environmental development of Northern Ireland.

Aims

To support the vision the DfI Rivers aims:

  • to reduce the risk to life and the damage to property from flooding from rivers and the sea
  • to undertake watercourse and coastal flood management in a sustainable manner

Objectives

In support of these aims DfI Rivers' objectives are to:

  • deliver sustainable flood risk management policies to meet society’s social, environmental and economic needs
  • implement the requirements of the European Directive for the assessment and management of flood risks
  • reduce the number of properties currently at risk of flooding from rivers and the sea
  • maintain flood defence and drainage infrastructure in a satisfactory condition
  • operate to resource limits
  • support and motivate all our people to achieve DfI Rivers' objectives
  • deliver quality services for our customers and stakeholders in a fair and equitable way

Statutory authority

The powers delegated to DfI Rivers by the Department for Infrastructure as the statutory Drainage and Flood Defence authority for Northern Ireland derive from the Drainage (NI) Order 1973 as amended.

Enabling legislation

The Drainage (Northern Ireland) Order 1973 - the legislative basis for carrying out watercourse maintenance work and flood defence schemes.

The Lough Neagh and Lower Bann Drainage and Navigation Act (Northern Ireland) 1955 - sets the statutory duty to regulate the levels of the Lough within prescribed limits as far as weather permits. 

The Lough Neagh Drainage (Amendment) Act 1970 - extended the Department's obligation to take account of other interests with regard to Lough level management.

The Drainage (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006 - applies to all drainage and flood defence proposals and ensures an assessment of the environmental impact and public consultation on all drainage works and schemes. 

The Drainage (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) Order 2005 - gives the Department two new powers namely:

  • a power to make orders to dissolve drainage trusts
  • a power to make regulations to charge for drainage infrastructure works to facilitate development

The Drainage Trusts (Dissolution) Order (Northern Ireland) 2006 - dissolves the drainage trusts listed in the schedule and extinguishes all rights, duties, obligations, and liabilities arising under the trusts.  The Order also provides for the department to dispose of any property forming part of the trusts and to put the funds to the Consolidated Fund.

Other relevant legislation

The Water (Northern Ireland) Order 1999 - requires the Department to have regard for environmental factors when carrying out functions under Drainage Legislation.

DfI Rivers' Senior Management Team

DfI Rivers is headed by a Director and Heads of Business Units which span three areas of business – Operations, Development and Corporate Services. The Senior Management Team ensures that DfI Rivers carries out its statutory functions and activities, which are governed by primary legislation and regulations.

The Director of DfI Rivers is also the Accounting Officer and is responsible for the financial management of the DfI Rivers' resources within budgets and protocols set by Government. 

Director - Deidre Mackle

Deidre is currently the Director of DfI Rivers, the flood defence and drainage authority for Northern Ireland. DfI Rivers is responsible for river and sea defence maintenance, the construction of flood alleviation schemes, the provision of flood maps and risk information and it carries out the role of Lead Government Department for flood emergency events throughout Northern Ireland.

Head of DfI Rivers Operations - Owen McGivern

Owen was appointed Head of Operations in April 2015. Owen joined DfI Rivers in 2005. He has managed the in-house Design Unit and was Eastern Regional Engineer with responsibility for the Lisburn, Greater Belfast Area and Armagh Offices. He has also managed the DfI Rivers’ Capital Procurement Unit.  Prior to joining DfI Rivers he worked for NI Water.

Head of DfI Rivers Development - Jonathan McKee

Jonathan was appointed Head of Business Development in June 2014. He has a breadth of experience that includes working for Northern Ireland Water from 1991-2005 in the design and supervision of Capital Works Projects. He joined DfI Rivers in 2005 and has been an Area Engineer, Regional Engineer and Head of DfI Rivers’ Operational Support Unit.

Corporate Support Services - Shaun Donnelly

Shaun was appointed Head of Corporate Support Services in June 2013.
Shaun has finance experience in both the public and private sector.

DfI Rivers' Business Units

DfI Rivers is headed is by a Director and supported by three Business Units:

  • Operations
  • Development
  • Corporate Support Services

Operations

There are five sections within the Operations Business Unit. They are:

Operations Support

This section provides Health and Safety, Environmental and Emergency Planning support to the DfI Rivers. It is based at Loughry and delivers the following:

  • policy development and the provision of information, advice and training with regard to:
    • health and safety,
    • the environment,
    • emergency planning.
  • representing the DfI Rivers with regard to implementation of the Water Framework Directive.

Eastern Region

This section maintains and protects the river drainage network across the DfI Rivers' Armagh, Lisburn and Greater Belfast Areas. With headquarters in Lisburn, this regional team has the following key functions:

  • maintenance of a network of free flowing watercourses to provide adequate outlets for urban storm and land drainage
  • maintenance of flood and sea defences
  • identifying flood risks and undertaking minor works to repair and construct urban flood defences, culverts and provide drainage infrastructure
  • administering advisory and enforcement procedures to protect the drainage function of all rivers
  • provision of a fast and effective flood emergency response with a view to mitigating any threat to life or property
  • advising Planning Service on river drainage aspects of Planning Applications, applying principles of Planning Policy Statement 15 “Development and Flood Risk”
  • responding to complaints and enquiries
  • utilising available resources to maintain the effectiveness of the Department’s assets during periods of adverse weather and threat to life and property from flooding
  • Responding where possible to requests for assistance from the public whose property has suffered or is threatened by flooding. Liaising with other statutory and public bodies to provide an effective response to flooding or threat of flooding.

Western Region

This section maintains and protects the designated watercourse network across DfI Rivers' Omagh and Coleraine Areas plus the Fermanagh Sub-Area with a headquarters in Omagh. This regional team has the following key functions:

  • maintenance of a network of free flowing designated watercourses to provide adequate outlets for urban storm and land drainage
  • maintenance of flood and sea defences
  • identifying flood risks and undertaking minor works to repair and construct urban flood defences, culverts and provide drainage infrastructure
  • administering advisory and enforcement procedures to protect the drainage function of all rivers.
  • Utilising available resources to maintain the effectiveness of the Agency’s assets during periods of adverse weather and threat to life and property from flooding.
  • Responding where possible to requests for assistance from the public whose property has suffered or is threatened by flooding. Liaising with other statutory and public bodies to provide an effective response to flooding or threat of flooding
  • advising Planning Service on river drainage aspects of Planning Applications, applying principles of Planning Policy Statement 15 “Development and Flood Risk”
  • responding to complaints and enquiries
  • regulation of water levels on Lough Neagh and Lough Erne
  • management of the Lough Erne estate
  • purchasing and maintenance of plant, vehicles and equipment
  • provision and maintenance of store facilities

Asset Management Unit

Provides hydrometric support across DfI Rivers' and also oversees the management of DfI Rivers' flood defence assets. It is based at Loughry and delivers the following:

  • operation and maintenance of the Northern Ireland surface water network to collect and provide water level and river flow data
  • establishment and monitoring of Asset Management Plans for flood defences

Capital Procurement Unit

Reduces the risk of flooding by identifying flood risks and executing viable river engineering works to minimise such risks. It is based at Loughry and consists of two sections, Capital Procurement, which carries out its functions through a framework of Civil Engineering Consultants, and Design Section which undertakes design and construction supervision of schemes via an in-house team of staff. A prioritised programme of schemes is delivered under the following headings:

  • repair and construction of urban flood and sea defences
  • repair and construction of culverts
  • construction of drainage infrastructure to facilitate new development

Development Business Unit

There are three units within the Development Business Unit. They are:

Strategic Planning Unit

This is based at Loughry, Cookstown and co-ordinates and contributes to the implementation of the Floods Directive in terms of the following elements:

  • preliminary flood risk assessments
  • communication with the public and engagement of stakeholders
  • transposition led by corporate services
  • mapping led by asset management
  • programme management 

Mapping and Modelling Unit

This unit develops and provides map based information to enable the communication, assessment and sharing of flood risks. It also oversees the management of DfI's Rivers' flood defence assets. It is based at Loughry and delivers the following:

  • flood risk mapping in support of the Floods Directive
  • management of the Agency’s LiDAR survey programme
  • coordination of flood data collection
  • development, procurement and support of DfI Rivers' GIS business solutions

Planning Advisory Unit (PAU)

This unit is based in Craigavon, provides advice to Planning Service on the drainage/flood risk aspects of Development Plans and planning applications commensurate with the need to prevent inappropriate and unsustainable development. The unit has key functions as follows:

  • Advising Planning Service on inappropriate development in floodplains or elsewhere to avert any increase in risk to life and damage to property through flooding (PPS 15 Planning and Flood Risk refers)
  • River modelling in support of floodplain identification and protection
  • Carrying out drainage impact assessments in relation to lands zoned for development in Area Plans
  • Scrutiny of flood risk assessments submitted by developers as part of planning applications
  • Acting as key contact with the Planning Service in relation to matters concerning flood risk and land use planning
  • Input to the Working Party dealing with the emerging SUDS (Sustainable Drainage Systems) policy for Northern Ireland

Corporate Support Services

Provides guidance to formulate and implement DfI Rivers' policies. It ensures proper communications between DfI Rivers' and its customers, other Agencies, Departments and Ministers, and enables financial planning control and accountability for DfI Rivers.  The Unit also provides comprehensive administrative, financial, training and development and human resources support services.

Corporate Services Business Unit consists of four sections:

  • Business Support
  • Finance
  • Reservoir Authority
  • Lough Erne Estate Management

Business Plans

The Corporate Plan sets out DfI Rivers' agenda for the next five years and the DfI Rivers Business Plan focuses on the priorities and targets for the year ahead.

Contact DfI Rivers

The appropriate DfI Rivers office can be contacted by telephone, in writing or by email. If you have a complaint DfI Rivers has customer service standards in place which includes a complaints procedure.

DfI Rivers Headquarters

DfI Rivers HQ
49 Tullywiggan Road
Loughry
Cookstown
BT80 8SG

Telephone: 028 8676 8342
Email:  rivers.registry@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk

Greater Belfast area

District council areas covered by this office:

  • Mid & East Antrim
  • Antrim & Newtownabbey
  • North Down and Ards
  • Lisburn and Castlereagh
DfI Rivers Greater Belfast Area
Ravarnet House
Altona Road
Largymore
Lisburn
BT27 5QB

Telephone: 028 9260 6100
Email: rivers.belfast@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk

Lisburn office

District Council areas covered by this office:

  • Causeway Coast and Glens
  • Mid and East Antrim
  • Antrim and Newtownabbey
  • Lisburn and Castlereagh
  • North Down and Ards
  • Newry, Mourne and Down
DfI Rivers Lisburn
Ravarnet House
Altona Road
Largymore
Lisburn
BT27 5QB

Telephone: 028 9260 6100
Email: rivers.lisburn@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk

Coleraine office

District Council areas covered by this office:

  • Derry and Strabane
  • Causeway Coast and Glens
  • Mid and East Antrim
  • Mid Ulster
  • Antrim and Newtownabbey
DfI Rivers Coleraine
37 Castleroe Road
Castleroe
Coleraine
BT51 3RL

Telephone: 028 7034 2357
Email: rivers.coleraine@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk

(Please note all requests for information relating to the location of any watercourses or DfI Rivers apparatus in a specific area should be sent to rivers.registry@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk)

Armagh/Plant Unit

District Council areas covered by this office:

  • Mid Ulster
  • Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon
  • Newry, Mourne and Down
DfI Rivers Craigavon
44 Seagoe Industrial Estate
Seagoe Lower
Craigavon
BT63 5QE

Armagh Rural Area:
Telephone: 028 3839 9111
Email: rivers.armagh@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk

Plant Unit

DfI Rivers Plant Unit
44 Seagoe Industrial Estate
Seagoe Lower
Craigavon
BT63 5QE

Telephone: 028 3839 9100
Email rivers.plant@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk

Planning Advisory Unit

DfI Rivers Planning Advisory Unit
44 Seagoe Industrial Estate
Seagoe Lower
Craigavon
BT63 5QE

Telephone: 028 3839 9118
Email: rivers.registry@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk

Fermanagh contacts

District Council areas covered by this office:

  • Fermanagh and Omagh
DfI Rivers Fermanagh
Riversdale
Tullylone
Ballinamallard
Enniskillen
BT94 2NA

Telephone: 028 6638 8529
Email: rivers.fermanagh@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk

(Please note all requests for information relating to the location of any watercourses or DfI Rivers apparatus in a specific area should be sent to rivers.registry@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk).

Omagh contacts

District Council areas covered by this office:

  • Mid Ulster
  • Fermanagh and Omagh
  • Derry and Strabane
DfI Rivers Omagh
Western Regional Office
3a St Julians Road
Lisnamallard
Omagh
BT79 7HQ

Telephone: 028 8225 4900
Email: rivers.omagh@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk

(Please note all requests for information relating to the location of any watercourses or DfI Rivers apparatus in a specific area should be sent to rivers.registry@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk)

 

Back to top