Water Supply Project gains support of Dublin City Council

Dublin City Council has issued a statement recommending the use of raw water from the River Shannon for a proposed water supply project by Irish landowners Bord na Mona.

In its Adopted Plan and Environmental statement, the council has recommended the Water Supply Project, which aims to take water at peak flow from the River Shannon to store in a proposed reservoir site at the Bord na Mona owned Garryhinch cutaway bog near Portarlington, Co.Laois go ahead to help meet growing demand on supply.

As part of the plan, the water will be treated at Garryhinch to drinking water standards before filling the reservoir, which would have the capacity to supply water to more than one million people in the Midlands and Dublin region and could eventually supply 50% of Ireland’s water.

An initial application was made by Bord na Mona to An Bord Pleanala, an independent body that works to ensure the development of infrastructure projects in Ireland, in August for consultations under the Strategic Infrastructure Act. Over the next two years an environmental impact assessment and detailed planning application will be prepared for submission to the board.

Dublin City council’s executive manager, Tom Leahy, said the water scheme is essential to ensure security of supply and job creation, and is the “best plan” Ireland has for providing a sustainable water supply. 

Leahy said: “This proposed water supply scheme with large strategic reserves of treated water available in Garryhinch (Co. Offaly) effectively opens up a corridor of potential development for water intensive industries between the Shannon and Dublin.

“This Plan would ensure jobs, tourism and growth potential for the entire country by ensuring a secure supply of water from 2020 into the future. With water loss being reduced to the economic minimum, full engagement of water conservation measures and future water metering, the new Water Source is still required to cater for medium and long term development of the Region.”

The council also said the works also form part of an overall water services programme which includes projects to reduce leakage and replace the old Victorian pipe network.

Dublin Chamber of Commerce’s, chief executive, Gina Quinn, said, “The proposed Waste Supply Project will be critical in preventing water shortages throughout the eastern region. Dublin Chamber welcomes the publication of the Adopted Plan and Environmental Statement on the proposed project which is further evidence that the proposed plan is viable and sustainable for all of Ireland.”

The Water Supply Project is listed in the Government’s Water Services Investment Programme as a scheme to proceed to planning, and the Environmental Statement is currently on public display and includes an outline of reasons for choosing the plan, how environmental considerations have been integrated into the plan and consultations that have been taken into account in the preparation of the plan.

Carys Matthews

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