Written Answers. - Inland Waterways.

Emmet Stagg

Question:

774 Mr. Stagg asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands her views on whether flooding at Hazelhatch, Celbridge and Castlewarden, Straffan, on 9, 10 and 11 April 1998 was as a result of inadequate flood water systems emanating from the Grand Canal system; the proposals, if any, she has to rectify this flooding problem; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [1502/99]

I refer the Deputy to my reply to Questions Nos. 66 and 67 of 11 Meitheamh 1998.

The system of water management on the Grand Canal has been operating successfully for some 200 years. The system includes automatic overflows, such as Behan's overflow which, during periods of heavy and persistent precipitation, automatically discharge surplus water and therefore prevents the overtopping of the canal banks. The volume of surplus water discharged at Behan's overflow at any particular time varies but any discharge will obviously contribute to the water level in the Shinkeen Stream. However, the flooding experienced at Hazelhatch in recent years, including the April 1998 flooding, arises from the inability of the Shinkeen Stream to carry the increased volume of water from its catchment area. In the circumstances, resolution of the problem should focus on improving the water carrying capacity of the Shinkeen Stream during flood conditions. Examination of this matter is, however, outside the remit of my Department.
As to flooding at Castlewarden, Straffan, my Department is not aware of any possible connection between it and the water management system on the Grand Canal.