Thursday, 12 July 2018

Questions (130)

Robert Troy

Question:

130. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the works commenced and completed on the river Shannon; the schedule of remaining works; and timeframe for same. [32078/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Public)

The Shannon Flood Risk State Agency Co-ordination Working Group was established in early 2016 by the Government across all of the State Agencies involved with the River Shannon. The Group is building on the existing work and commitment of all the State Agencies involved in flood risk and continues to enhance the ongoing co-ordination and co-operation between members.

The Group’s extensive Work Programme available on the OPW website www.opw.ie demonstrates the ongoing work and co-ordination by all State bodies to jointly and proactively address flood risk on the Shannon under the following themes of activity:

- Physical Works

- Maintenance

- Water Management

- Regulatory

- Policy and Planning

The Group took a decision in October 2016 to trial the lowering of the lake levels on Lough Allen, within the existing statutory framework, during the Winter 2016/2017 to help mitigate potential flood risk.  A protocol was finalised between ESB, Waterways Ireland and the OPW to lower the late Autumn and Winter minimum lake levels in Lough Allen by approximately 0.7 metres with the first reduction implemented in October 2016. The trial has been repeated for the Winter 2017/2018 is being repeated again in Winter 2018/2019.

It is also examining a plan for strategic maintenance, to help reduce further deterioration of the River Shannon, and is considering the development of viable flood risk reduction measures in the Shannon Callows, as a further commitment to enhance co-ordinated activities by the relevant State Agencies. These plans are taking into account the environmental, legal and resource implications involved.

During 2017, targeted maintenance works were carried out at Madden’s Island, downstream of Banagher, to improve the conveyance capacity and navigation of the Shannon. Further works were due to be carried out earlier this year, however this was not possible due to the high water level on the channel. This work is scheduled to be carried out later this year during the next cutting season.

Following the receipt of consent in September 2017 from the National Parks and Wildlife Service of the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, targeted works have been planned for a number of other locations for the appropriate seasonal windows. To date, work has been carried out at Muckinish and Shannon Grove (Kilnaborris), in accordance with the consent provided. Further work at these and other five locations at Meelick Weir, New Cut (Illaunalliagh), New Cut (Breaninch), New Cut –weir removal and Marlborough Weir (Incherky) is being planned for later this year in accordance with the seasonal windows to conduct this work.

In addition to the work of the Shannon Group the OPW and Local Authorities have completed 12 flood relief schemes protecting towns within the Shannon catchment. Currently 3 more are under construction or design and a further 34 schemes are planned are proposed as part of the €1bn investment in flood relief measures over the coming decade, I announced on 3rd May. The details of these schemes are set out in the Flood Risk Management Plans, that are the output from the Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management (CFRAM) Programme - the largest ever study of flood risk undertaken by the State. In summary these are:

12 Flood Relief Schemes Completed in Shannon Catchment

- Dromcolliher, Co. Limerick

- Foynes, Co. Limerick

- Newcastle West, Co. Limerick

- Cappamore, Co. Limerick

- Limerick City, Co. Limerick

- Ballinasloe, Co. Galway

- Tullamore, Co. Offaly

- Newport, Co. Tipperary

- Athlone, Co. Westmeath / Co. Roscommon

- Mullingar, Co. Westmeath

- Ennis, Co. Clare

- Sixmilebridge, Co. Clare 

3 Flood Relief Schemes under Construction/Design in Shannon Catchment

- Athlone, Co. Westmeath / Co. Roscommon

- Ennis, Co. Clare

- Limerick City (King's Island), Co. Limerick

34 Flood Relief Schemes for Shannon Catchment proposed in Flood Risk Management Plans

- Bunratty, Co. Clare

- Kilkee, Co. Clare

- Killaloe/Ballina, Co. Clare / Co. Tipperary

- Kilrush, Co. Clare

- Shannon Town, Co. Clare

- Springfield, Co. Clare

- Ballinasloe, Co. Galway

- Portumna, Co. Galway

- Abbeydorney, Co. Kerry

- Banna, Co. Kerry

- Ballylongford, Co. Kerry

-Listowel, Co. Kerry

- Tralee, Co. Kerry

- Clonaslee, Co. Laois

- Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim

- Dromod, Co. Leitrim

- Leitrim Village, Co. Leitrim

- Mohill, Co. Leitrim

- Adare, Co. Limerick

- Askeaton, Co. Limerick

- Athea, Co. Limerick

- Castleconnell, Co. Limerick

- Foynes, Co. Limerick

- Limerick City and Environs, Co. Limerick

- Newcastle West, Co. Limerick

- Rathkeale, Co. Limerick

- Longford, Co. Longford

- Birr, Co. Offaly

- Rahan, Co. Offaly

- Athleague, Co. Roscommon

- Boyle, Co. Roscommon

- Roscommon, Co. Roscommon

- Nenagh, Co Tipperary

- Roscrea, Co. Tipperary

The OPW continues to work with Local Authorities to support local flood relief projects. Funding of almost €41m has been approved by the OPW to Local Authorities since 2009 under the Minor Flood Mitigation Works and Coastal Protection Scheme. To the end of 2017, almost 500 local flood relief projects were completed across every county protecting almost 6,500 properties. Two thirds of these projects delivered flood relief schemes to areas outside of the CFRAM Programme. The details of these completed works by Local Authority area is available on the OPW website, www.floodinfo.ie under the county summary of the Key Message section.