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Water Supply Project Eastern & Midlands Region

The proposed Water Supply Project – Eastern and Midlands Region (WSP) will be the first major comprehensive upgrade to Ireland’s “New Source” infrastructure in the region in over 60 years.

Irish Water Lake, Staff, washing hands

Irish Water has a remit to deliver secure, reliable and sustainable long-term water supplies which facilitate domestic and economic development. To do that we must plan for decades and across generations.

What has happened so far?

In 2014, Irish Water embarked on a four-stage process to identify a suitable new source of water supply for the Eastern and Midlands Region. Extensive studies and research have been undertaken to identify and assess all possible supply options to meet the future water supply requirements of the region.

What is the preferred scheme?

The Parteen Basin option was identified as the preferred scheme as it is the option which delivers the widest benefit to the greatest number of people, with the least environmental impact and in the most cost effective manner.

The Parteen Basin scheme comprises the abstraction of water from the lower River Shannon at Parteen Basin in Co. Tipperary, with water treatment nearby at Birdhill. Treated water would then be piped 170km to a termination point reservoir at Peamount in South County Dublin, connecting into the Greater Dublin network. Supplies of treated water would be made available to Midland communities along the route.

Irish Water has sought, listened to and responded to public feedback at every stage of the project's development, from assessing the need right through to identifying the preferred scheme. All research, assessments and public consultations have been undertaken in line with international best practice for the identification of need and determination of options. Feedback received during each consultation has been summarised in our reports, which are available here.

The outcome of the consultation process identified that the Parteen Basin scheme is the best option, and is the only option that meets the projects objective of providing a long-term and sustainable water supply for the Eastern and Midlands Region.

What happens next?

Irish Water will continue to progress the preparation of a planning application that will be submitted to An Bord Pleanála in 2019.

In December 2017, the Government approved the commencement of work on a General Scheme of a Water Environment (Abstractions) Bill which it intends to publish in summer 2018 and to have enacted by the end of 2018. As a result, Irish Water will have to apply for a water abstraction licence under this new regime.

All potential impacts of the scheme, including abstraction, will be addressed in the Environmental Impact Assessment Report and the Natura Impact Statement, which are currently being prepared and will accompany Irish Water’s planning application to An Bord Pleanála for their independent assessment.

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