Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Questions (111)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

111. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the extent to which any assessment continues to be done of requirements for drainage or flood prevention measures on a county basis; the progress in this regard in respect of previously identified sensitive areas; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45316/13]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

A comprehensive flood risk assessment and management programme for all national river catchments is being undertaken through the Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management (CFRAM) Programme under the direction of the Office of Public Works. The CFRAM Programme is being delivered through six separate CFRAM Studies. Further details on this Programme is available at www.cfram.ie.

The CFRAM Programme is designed to assess and map the country's river systems to identify areas at risk of significant flooding. The purpose of the Programme is to:

- produce detailed flood mapping in order to identify and map the existing and potential future flood hazard and risk areas within the study areas.

- Build the strategic information base necessary for making informed decisions in relation to managing flood risk.

- Identify viable structural and non-structural measures and options for managing the flood risks for localised high-risk areas and within each river catchment as a whole.

There are three main stages in the Programme and a suite of documents will be produced for public consultation at each stage:

- Preliminary Flood Risk Assessment - complete

- Flood Hazard Mapping (2013 - early 2014)

- Catchment Flood Risk Management Plans (2015)

The country has been divided into 6 river basin districts (RBD), covering all counties of the State, and separate studies have been commissioned, in each RBD, to carry out a detailed mapping of Ireland's rivers. The Programme will meet the requirements of the EU Floods Directive (Directive 2007/60/EC) and the 2004 Flood Policy Review Report. The preliminary flood risk assessment completed in 2011 identified 300 locations or Areas for Further Assessment which will be the subject of detailed flood risk analysis and modelling under the CFRAM Studies.

The River Basin Districts are:

- Shannon

- East

- South-East

- South-West

- West

- North-West/Neagh-Bann

Engineering consultants have been appointed to all six RBDs to carry out the work.

In parallel with the CFRAM Programme, assessment and identification of flood risk on a localised basis within each county is carried out by local authorities who can apply for funding under the OPW Minor Flood Mitigation Works & Coastal Protection Scheme, introduced in 2009. The Scheme provides funding for local authorities to undertake localised minor flood mitigation works and coastal protection measures or studies, based on assessment of need within their own administrative areas. The Scheme generally applies to relatively straightforward cases where a solution can be readily identified and achieved in a short time frame.

To date, OPW has approved funding of €29m through the Scheme to local authorities in respect of approximately 400 projects located in every county around the country. Details in relation to the Scheme are available on the OPW website www.opw.ie under Flood Risk Management.

Pending the completion of the CFRAM the OPW is continuing with its programme of major flood relief schemes. These schemes are focused on locations, throughout the country, where significant flood events have occurred in the past. Spending in this regard has been of the order of €120m in the past five years and further details are available on www.opw.ie under Flood Risk Management.