Meeting Called Over Lough Derg Water Extraction Plan

The River Shannon

The River Shannon Protection Alliance (RSPA) has called a public meeting for 8pm on Thursday April 28 at the Lough Derg Yacht Club in Dromineer to launch a local branch, alongside branches in Limerick and Athlone, to oppose plans to pump water from the Shannon for use in Dublin.

Consultants RPS and Veolia recommended in July 2010 a €470 million scheme to abstract 350 million litres of water a day from Lough Derg near Carrigahorig, to be pumped to the Dublin region and commuter towns along the way, via a reservoir and treatment plant at a Bord Na Móna cutaway bog near Portarlington.  It is understood that Dublin City Council (DCC) as lead local authority has accepted their recommendation.  Once the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government has given approval, as the scheme’s promoters expect, the plan is to obtain planning approval from Bord Pleanála in 2014, bypassing local authorities under the Strategic Infrastructure Act.  Thereafter procurement, construction and commissioning will take another 8 years before the scheme is operational in 2022.

RSPA members are worried for the future of the Shannon and its communities.  Greater Dublin’s realistic water needs can be met by a combination of fixing leaks currently wasting 30% of treated water, tapping proven local groundwater resources, applying demand management measures such as metering/charging, reusing grey water and harvesting rainwater.  A reduced flow of water through Lough Derg threatens to damage water quality, in breach of the Water Framework Directive.

RSPA is planning to campaign democratically against the proposals, through the media and political institutions, through Bord Pleanála, and through European institutions.

You can come to the meeting to find out why the scheme should be opposed and how you can help.

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