Up to 500 farmers could be affected by Dublin/River Shannon pipeline

Concerns have been raised over plans to build a pipeline – which could affect some 500 landowners – to supply Dublin and its hinterland with water from the River Shannon.

Irish Water published the Final Options Appraisal Report today, which identifies the Preferred Scheme for a new source of water supply for its Eastern and Midlands Region.

The proposed water supply project comprises the sustainable abstraction of water on the eastern shore of the Parteen Basin in Co. Tipperary.

Under the Preferred Scheme, treated water would then be piped 170km to Peamount in South County Dublin, with the treated water supplied being made available to Midland communities along the route.

Currently, Irish Water is looking at a 200m wide “Preferred Pipeline Corridor”, which it plans to narrow down to 50m following a consultation process with stakeholders.

However both farmers and the River Shannon Protection Alliance have raised concerns over the proposed pipeline which is expected to take 330m litres of water from Ireland’s longest river each day by 2050.

Gerry Siney, Chairman of the River Shannon Protection Alliance, said that despite what Irish Water has indicated, Dublin will not run short of water if the pipeline is not built.

“Dublin currently has all the water it needs now and into the future. Half of the water in the Dublin region is leaking into the ground,” he said on RTE Radio today.

Under the proposed pipeline, Irish Water believes that the Water Supply Project will deliver secure and sustainable for over 40% of the country’s population up to 2050.

However, speaking on RTE Radio today, Siney said that the proposal will have a dramatic effect on tourism and local communities along the River Shannon.

When the river drops, which they will inevitably, tourism will fail and communities along the River Shannon will suffer.

The Alliance’s Chairman also said that Irish Water’ plans to take only 2% of the water from the River Shannon is ‘grossly misleading’ and this figure could run as high a 26% on occasion.

IFA Environment and Rural Affairs Chairman Thomas Cooney has described the proposal as one of the most intrusive infrastructure developments to be imposed on landowners since the development of the motorway roads network over a decade ago.

“Farm families across the length of the project have attended IFA branch meetings and county executives and have rightly highlighted their concerns regarding the scale of the project and the impact it may have on their farm businesses,” he said.

Map: Will the proposed pipeline affect you?

Source: Irish Water
Source: Irish Water

Irish Water to hold public consultation meetings

A spokesperson for Irish Water confirmed that the state-owned agency will hold public consultations over the next fourteen weeks to seek feedback on the proposed development of the Preferred Scheme.

According to Irish Water, members of the public are welcome to attend any of the scheduled open days in order to meet the project team and to find out how the project will serve your area.

Details of all scheduled Open Days are available on www.watersupplyproject.ie and will be advertised in local and national media.

In order to ensure stakeholder feedback is considered in advance of the project progressing further, all feedback for this consultation should be sent by 5pm on February 14,  2016, by email to [email protected] or by post to Water Supply Project, Merrion House, Merrion Road, Dublin 4.