Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Ceisteanna (131)

Thomas Gould

Ceist:

131. Deputy Thomas Gould asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform when a feasibility study will be carried out on the future need for a tidal barrier in County Cork in view of the rising sea levels [25021/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

I am assuming that the Deputy’s question relates to a feasibility study the on the future need for a tidal barrier for Cork City.

The option of a tidal barrier for Cork City, in particular, was considered, both as part of the Lee Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management (CFRAM) Study that commenced in 2006, and the Lower Lee Flood Relief scheme that commenced in 2013, and was screened out in both studies as not being viable.

As part of a range of reports undertaken for the Lower Lee Scheme, a detailed report on the option of a tidal carrier was completed. Four locations were considered in the report and were ruled out for varying reasons, including environmental impacts, technical difficulties, impacts on the safety in the harbour, limited upstream storage capacity or inadequacy in terms of climate adaptability. A tidal barrier for the City would not address the issue of fluvial flooding, which is a great risk to the city, and would have an estimated cost between €1Billion and €2Billion. Such costs would be prohibitive at this point and any such project would not be cost beneficial when all financial benefits are taken into account. The Report concluded that a tidal barrier is not currently viable for the City and will not likely become viable for approximately 50 years or more.

The report can be viewed at:

https://www.lowerleefrs.ie/project-info-reports/.

OPW is continuing the design of the flood relief scheme for Cork City which addresses both fluvial and tidal flood risks and expects to submit the scheme to the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform for confirmation in the first half of next year.