THE WATER SUPPLY PROJECT EASTERN AND MIDLANDS REGION
In March 2015 Irish Water published The Project Need Report (PNR) which outlined the results of research into the future domestic and commercial demands for water in the Eastern and Midland Region of Ireland. It found that to meet future need a further 330 Mega litres of water per day (the equivalent of 130 Olympic sized swimming pools) would be needed by the Region by 2050.
The publication of the PNR was followed by a period of public consultation, the feedback from which was incorporated into the next phase of the project which was focussed on identifying viable options for a new source of supply to meet the Region’s future water requirements. The PNR consultation submission report can be found here.
The Options Working Paper (OWP) (published in June 2015) confirmed four technically viable options for a new source of supply as appropriate for further consideration.
These options were:
- Desalination (Irish Sea)
- Lough Derg (direct)
- Lough Derg (with storage)
- Parteen Basin (direct)
These were validated from an original list of ten possible options, examined previously during Strategic Environmental Assessments in 2010. Public consultation in June / July 2015 was focused on the constraints and assessment criteria proposed by Irish Water as their methodology for assessing the options and locating infrastructure.
Relevant feedback from that consultation process, together with results from ‘on-the-ground’ investigations, as well as assessment of options using the constraints and assessment criteria was analysed by the Project Team and incorporated into the findings of the Preliminary Options Appraisal Report (POAR) which constitutes Phase Three of the process.
The Preliminary Options Appraisal Report was published by Irish Water on 26 November 2015. That report narrowed the viable options down to two, desalination and abstraction from the Parteen Basin with a pipeline serving communities along the route to Dublin. The Parteen option was identified as the “emerging preferred option” as it would bring benefits to a much wider area, has less environmental impact and is significantly less expensive to build and operate than desalination.
Phase Four of the consultation process has now begun with the publication of the Final Options Appraisal Report (FOAR) and the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) Scoping Report. The FOAR confirms that the preferred scheme is:
- Abstraction of water from the Lower Shannon at Parteen Basin
- Water treatment nearby at Birdhill
- Treated water piped to a termination point reservoir at Peamount in South County Dublin, with supplies of treated water available to Midland communities along the route.
The EIS Scoping Report considers potential issues which may arise from the preferred scheme and describes how any impacts will be assessed. We are now undertaking a 14 week non-statutory public consultation on these two reports and invite submissions from the general public and key stakeholders.
To find out how you can get involved click here