I am pleased to present to the House the annual adaptation transition statement on the policy measures adopted by the Office of Public Works during the past year. Deputies are aware of Ireland's history of flooding, including the widespread severe floods from rivers and turloughs over the winter of 2015 to 2016, the flash floods in the Inishowen Peninsula and in Mountmellick, County Laois, in 2017 and the floods along the River Shannon earlier this year. Deputies are also aware of the OPW's catchment flood risk assessment and management, CFRAM, programme, which is the largest national study ever undertaken on our risk from significant flooding events and it has followed best practice in the area. The programme studied the flood risk for two thirds of our population. It looked not only at flood risk and its impact today but also studied its impact in two potential climate change scenarios. These scenarios are in line with the most recent evidence from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and research that has been undertaken in Ireland.
To date, the OPW has completed 46 flood relief schemes at a cost of €400 million. These include schemes in Clonmel, Kilkenny and Fermoy. They protect approximately 10,000 properties, with approximately €2 billion worth of damage avoided to date. In May 2018, the Minister of State, Kevin Boxer Moran, was pleased to announce with the Taoiseach a €1 billion investment in flood risk management as part of Project Ireland 2040. This is supported by the evidence from the CFRAM programme that provided 150 additional flood relief schemes. With the provision of these schemes, the Government can protect 95% of properties assessed to be at significant risk from flooding from rivers and the sea.
Since 2018, the number of food relief schemes under design and construction in partnership with local authorities has trebled to 92. This means the OPW and local authorities have completed, or are working to protect, 80% of those properties to be protected during the ten-year programme. The development of these schemes includes consideration of, and planning for, adaptation measures aimed at maintaining the same level of protection to these communities from the changing flood risk due to climate change. All schemes are designed and built in line with international best practice to avoid causing flood risk elsewhere. The design of the schemes is informed by detailed environmental assessment, public consultation and economic appraisal and they go through the full planning permission process under the appropriate legislation.
The panel on climate change has reported that for a 1.5°C rise in temperature the global mean sea level could rise by approximately 1 m by 2100. These estimates for climate change will have significant impacts on flooding and flood risk in Ireland.
In the context of this IPCC report, the OPW prepared a climate change sectoral adaptation plan for flood risk management between 2019 and 2024 in line with the requirements of the national adaptation framework and the climate action plan of 2019. The plan was consulted upon before being approved by Government last October. It sets out a long-term goal for adaptation and flood risk management to promote sustainable communities and to support our environment through the effective management of the potential impacts of climate change on flooding and flood risk. It includes a range of actions: enhancing our knowledge and understanding of the potential impact of climate change for flooding and flood risk management; adapting our flood risk management practice to effectively manage the potential impacts of climate change and future flood risk; and aligning adaptation with regard to flood risk across sectors and wider Government policy including, in particular, planning. The main actions at the moment focus on: assessment of risk from climate change; the inclusion of adaptation in flood relief schemes; and the consideration of potential future flood scenarios in planning and development management. Progress is now being made.
Maps of future flood extents under climate change scenarios have been published on the web portal floodinfo.ie. The OPW is providing funding to the eastern and midlands climate action regional office for further research. Assessments have begun into the adoptability of those completed flood relief schemes. The design brief for future schemes now includes a requirement to consider a plan for adaptation needs and work towards the establishment of a national flood forecasting and warning service is ongoing to build resilience for the future.
It is also important to talk about the measures we have put in place for those properties at risk where investment in a flood relief scheme is not feasible. The minor flood mitigation works and coastal protection scheme remains an important measure for addressing this risk. In 2019, the OPW approved almost €5 million in funding to local authorities for nearly 50 such schemes. This brings the total committed investment under the scheme to more than €39 million for nearly 900 projects protecting some 7,000 properties. Two thirds of those are in areas outside of those communities studied by the CFRAM programme. The work of the cross-Government interdepartmental flood policy co-ordination group, chaired by the Minister of State, Kevin "Boxer" Moran, is also focused on climate change adaptation measures for future flood risk management. Significant progress this year has been achieved by Met Éireann, overseen by the OPW, towards establishing the flood forecasting service.
In conclusion, the work by the OPW in the past 12 months in adopting measures to adapt for climate change has been significant. In particular, the delivery of flood relief schemes and the publication of the sectoral adaptation plan demonstrates our continued approach to addressing the possible impact of climate change in our planning to manage flood risk, the delivery of flood relief schemes and working across Government to manage risk in the future. I am confident that our focus on climate change in flood risk management will allow our investment today to cope with and be adaptable to deal with the impact of climate change in the future.