Reservoir safety – legislation to commence and implement the Reservoirs Act(NI) 2015

Date published: 29 November 2021

This document seeks your views on the draft secondary legislation required to further commence and implement the key elements of the management and maintenance regime for reservoir safety provided by the Reservoirs Act (NI) 2015 (the Act).


The key elements include registration, designation, supervision by a supervising engineer, inspection by an inspecting engineer and a requirement to undertake measures in the interest of safety. This management and maintenance regime will minimise the risk of flooding due to an uncontrolled release of water resulting from dam or structural failure of a reservoir therefore safeguarding human life, the environment, cultural heritage and economic activity.

Although the Department is not required to include reservoir designation criteria in legislation, we are also seeking your views on the draft designation criteria which the Department will use to give controlled reservoirs a reservoir designation. A reservoir designation of either High Consequence, Medium Consequence, or Low Consequence will be given to each controlled reservoir and this designation will determine the level of regulation and management required by the Act.

The consultation will run from 29 November 2021 to 23 January 2022.

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