The Office of Public Works (OPW) is responsible for the maintenance of Arterial Drainage Schemes and catchment drainage schemes designated under the Arterial Drainage Acts of 1945 and 1995. Local authorities have responsibility for the maintenance of Drainage Districts designated under the same Arterial Drainage Acts.
Local flooding issues are a matter, in the first instance, for each Local Authority to investigate and address. Local Authorities may carry out flood mitigation works using their own resources or with financial assistance from the OPW's Minor Flood Mitigation Works & Coastal Protection Scheme. This scheme provides 90% funding to Local Authorities to undertake minor flood mitigation works or studies, costing less than €0.75 million each, to address localised flooding and coastal protection problems within their administrative areas. The OPW consider each application in accordance with the Scheme’s eligibility criteria and having regard to the overall availability of resources for flood risk management. The criteria for the Scheme is available on www.opw.ie and Local Authorities liaise closely with my Office on the implementation of the Scheme. Since 2009, approximately €46.4m has been approved for in excess of 720 projects around the country which illustrates its many benefits to communities all over Ireland.
The OPW will shortly be publishing on www.flooding.ie guidance to landowners in relation to the maintenance of watercourses on or near their lands in the context of managing flood risk.
In line with Government policy the OPW, which is leading a whole of Government response to addressing flood risk, completed the largest ever study of flood risk undertaken by the State in 2018. The Flood Risk Management Plans are the output from the Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management (CFRAM) Programme and are underpinned by €1bn in investment in flood relief measures over the next 10 years. The OPW is responsible for co-ordinating the delivery of these measures over the coming decade.
Details of the works proposed for Donegal are available on the OPW website, www.floodinfo.ie. I have met with Donegal County Council and agreed mechanisms for the progression of flood relief schemes as a priority for Lifford, Burnfoot, Castlefin, Carrowkeel, Downings and Glenties.