Dublin City Council publishes the Adopted Plan and Environmental Statement for New Water Source Project

Dublin City Council has published the Adopted Plan and Environmental Statement on the proposed Water Supply Project recommending the abstraction of raw water from Lough Derg (River Shannon) with storage in a proposed new eco-park at the Bord na Mona owned Garryhinch cut-away Bog near Portarlington, Co. Laois. The water will be treated at Garryhinch to drinking water standards and pumped to over one million people in businesses and homes in the Midlands and Dublin Region. The Council’s Plan and Environmental Statement (Strategic Environmental Assessment Phase 2) are currently on view on Dublin City Council’s website http://www.dublincity.ie/WaterWasteEnvironment/waterprojects/Pages/WaterSupplyProject-DublinRegion.aspx and at the Planning Counter in the four Dublin local authorities as well as Kildare, Meath, Wicklow, Laois, Offaly, North Tipperary, Westmeath, Galway, Limerick and Clare County Councils from today (1st September) until 1st November 2011.

An application was made to An Bord Pleanala in August for consultations under the Strategic Infrastructure Act.  Over the next two years an Environmental Impact Assessment and Planning Application will be prepared for submission to the Board with ample opportunity for public involvement.

“We encourage people to view the Plan and the Environmental Statement which further confirm to us that this Plan is the best one for Ireland to provide a sustainable future water supply for the ten counties along the route as well as to the greater Dublin area where 40% of our population lives, and to ensure inward foreign investment continues to see Ireland as a viable progressive country to locate new businesses in,” says Tom Leahy, Dublin City Council. “The water scheme, including the new midlands water based eco park and storage, is essential to provide for security of supply and job creation, will not affect water levels on the Shannon and fully protects the environment. It is part of an overall water services programme which includes projects to reduce leakage and replace the old Victorian pipe network. We have adopted the Plan and prepared the Environmental Statement and put them on public display to provide additional information and more detail on the proposal for all our stakeholders, and the general public.”

Gina Quinn, Chief Executive, Dublin Chamber of Commerce said, “The population of the Dublin region is growing and with it the demand for water.  Currently with a population of 1.8 million in the Greater Dublin Area, we are consuming the equivalent of 550 Olympic size swimming pools every day. The population of the Greater Dublin Area is forecast to increase by 600,000 in the next 15 years.  The proposed Waste Supply Project will be critical in preventing water shortages throughout the eastern region.  Dublin Chamber welcomes the publication of the Adopted Plan and Environmental Statement on the proposed project which is further evidence that the proposed plan is viable and sustainable for all of Ireland.”

“The Water Supply Project is listed in the Government’s Water Services Investment Programme as a scheme to proceed to planning. This proposed water supply scheme with large strategic reserves of treated water available in Garryhinch (Co. Offaly) effectively opens up a corridor of potential development for water intensive industries between the Shannon and Dublin,” continues Tom Leahy. “This Plan would ensure jobs, tourism and growth potential for the entire country by ensuring a secure supply of water from 2020 into the future. Dublin City Council and the Dublin Authorities are already fully engaged in an ongoing and successful Government funded project to reduce leakage / unaccounted for water. With water loss being reduced to the economic minimum, full engagement of water conservation measures and future water metering, the new Water Source is still required to cater for medium and long term development of the Region.”

The Environmental Statement currently on public display summarises:-

  • How Environmental Considerations have been integrated into the Plan,
  • How the Environmental Report, submissions and observations made to the Competent Authority and any consultations have been taken into account during the preparation of the Plan
  • The reasons for choosing the Plan, in light of the other reasonable alternatives examined
  • The measures decided upon to monitor the environmental effects of implementation of The Plan or modification to The Plan

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