Ongoing study to finalise “Preferred Scheme” for new water Supply

Irish Water is launching the fourth public consultation phase on the Preferred Scheme for a New Water Supply for the Eastern and Midlands Region (WSP). This will represent the first major comprehensive upgrade of ‘new source’ infrastructure in over 60 years and will meet the domestic and commercial needs of over 40% of Ireland’s population into the medium to long term future.

On 8 November 2016, Irish Water published the Final Options Appraisal Report (FOAR)  which identified abstraction from the Parteen Basin in Tipperary as the Preferred Scheme for a new source of water supply for the Eastern and Midlands Region. Alongside the FOAR, Irish Water has also published an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) Scoping Report . The EIS Scoping Report considers potential issues which may arise from the preferred scheme and describes how any impacts will be assessed.

The Preferred Scheme


The Preferred Scheme is abstraction from Parteen Basin, downstream of Lough Derg, with water treatment nearby at Birdhill, and treated water distributed by a pipeline through the Midlands and Eastern Region, serving communities along the route to Dublin. This provides the greatest benefits to the widest section of the region’s population – which comprises 40% of the Nation’s population. The Preferred Scheme also offers the least environmental impact of all options examined and the secure and sustainable water supply it will deliver to communities along the pipeline route will facilitate economic growth throughout the region.

The Final Options Appraisal Report concludes that desalination, as the only other potentially viable option, is less suitable than the Parteen Basin option, since it only benefits Dublin, and because it is less environmentally friendly with a considerably higher energy requirement, chemical usage and waste discharge. It would also be significantly more expensive.

Public feedback is now sought on the Final Options Appraisal Report and on the EIS Scoping Report. The feedback from this consultation phase and from further technical and environmental studies and engagement with landowners will inform the selection of the Preferred Scheme to be put forward by Irish Water to An Bord Pleanála for planning permission. This is expected to happen in late 2017.

What is Irish Water asking for feedback on?

Irish Water would like your views on:

  • Is there any additional information that should be considered in the development of the Preferred Scheme?
  • Are there any additional environmental issues or alternative methodologies that should be taken into consideration in preparing the EIS?
  • How would you like Irish Water to communicate with you as the project progresses towards planning approval?

Irish Water also welcomes all relevant submissions on the project.

How you can take part

Following publication of the Water Supply Final Options Appraisal Report and EIS Scoping Report on 8 November 2016, Irish Water is now undertaking a 14 week public consultation process where you can have your say. This consultation will conclude on 14 February 2017.

Feedback from this consultation process will be obtained through a combination of stakeholder meetings and Public Consultation Open Days and all interested parties are invited to contribute, either by email to: watersupply@water.ie or by post to Water Supply Project, Merrion House, Merrion Road, Dublin 4 or by phone 1890 252 848 (ROI) or from norther Ireland on 084 524 65059.

The Water Supply Project Eastern and Midlands Region, Final Options Appraisal Report and EIS Scoping Report are available to view in County Libraries and at Local Authority Planning Counters within the project study area and can be downloaded here.

Public Consultation Process

Three Public Consultation phases have been held to date as part of the ongoing work for the Water Supply Project, to coincide with the publication of Project Reports. The previous consultation phases on the Preliminary Options Appraisal Report concluded in Q1, 2016. As part of that process, the Project Team received over 70 emails, phone calls and letters from Individuals and Stakeholder Groups, which contained opinions, suggestions and recommendations concerning a new water supply for the Eastern and Midlands Region. The Project Team held over 40 Stakeholder meetings and 4 Public Consultation Days, to brief Stakeholders on the Preliminary Options Appraisal Report and to elicit feedback.

All submissions have been logged and reviewed by the Project Team, and are categorised according to key themes in the Consultation Submissions Report, which is in Appendix J of the Final Options Appraisal Report.

(See for detail of consultation phase)

On 1st January 2014, Irish Water assumed responsibility for managing Ireland’s water and wastewater investment and maintenance programmes.

On that date, Irish Water also took over the management of the Water Supply Project Eastern and Midlands Region (WSP) from Dublin City Council (DCC) / Department of Environment, Community and Local Government (DECLG). The project is currently in the Planning Stage.

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The Planning Process

Each of the four phases of the project will be subject to extensive research and a period of public consultation before a final decision is made and submitted to An Bord Pleanála. For more detail on this process see The Project Road Map.
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