Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Questions (357)

James Bannon


357. Deputy James Bannon asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he will provide an update on the progress made to date in relation to dealing with flooding problems on the properties of a number of householders and farmers in the Clondra area, County Longford; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8623/13]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

There is on-going progress in respect of the River Shannon Catchment Flood Risk Assessment & Management Study which will provide a comprehensive review of flooding problems within the River Shannon catchment. A total of 66 areas along the Shannon, including Cloondara/Clondra have been designated as Areas for Further Assessment under the Study.

That assessment is being carried out by Jacobs Engineering, consultants for the Shannon CFRAM Study. Detailed flood hazard maps will be prepared and these will be made available for public consultation. Details of the Study and regular updates can be found on www.cfram.ie. or http://shannoncframstudy.ie.

At the Office of Public Work's (OPW) request Jacobs Engineering undertook a review of the operating regulations and procedures of the control structures along the river Shannon with the purpose of identifying potential improvements with respect to flood risk management that could be introduced in the short term. This review was carried out in advance of the detailed hydrological analysis and hydraulic modelling which is being addressed within the overall Shannon CFRAM Study.

That report and a non-technical summary of the Report - ‘Understanding Water levels on the River Shannon’ was circulated to all public representatives in the region, last autumn. The OPW has also facilitated presentations by Jacobs Engineering on its report to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Environment, Culture and the Gaeltacht and to the Irish Farmers Association.

Arising from those consultations, it was agreed to explore the possibility of carrying out a water level monitoring exercise, involving controlled raising and lowering of weir boards at selected locations, subject to favourable hydrological conditions. It has been agreed to involve the expertise of Jacobs Engineering, in order to advance the water monitoring proposal.