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Submissions to Shannon flood plan call for single management agency

Oct 7, 2016 | ICSA in the Media | 0 comments

  • Dairy and sheep farmer Des Mc Hugh inspects waterlogged paddocks on his farm at Ballinamore, Co. Leitrim. Des records rainfall on his farm for Met Eireann and has recorded 390.44 mm since the 5th of June. Photo: Jack Caffrey
    Dairy and sheep farmer Des Mc Hugh inspects waterlogged paddocks on his farm at Ballinamore, Co. Leitrim. Des records rainfall on his farm for Met Eireann and has recorded 390.44 mm since the 5th of June. Photo: Jack Caffrey

The ICSA and IFA have both called for the establishment of a single management agency of the River Shannon. 

Submissions by farm organisations to the Shannon Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management (CFRAM) plan call for dredging to be considered and the establishment of a single independent authority for dealing with ongoing issues on Ireland’s longest river.

The IFA described the inclusion of a Shannon Flood Risk State Agency Co-Ordination Working Group as a mere “talking shop” that will not have any power to implement key measures.

The ICSA suggest that the Office of Public Works (OPW) would be the appropriate management agency to focus on reducing flood risk.

“It is no longer appropriate that power generation is the decisive determinant of setting water levels,” according to the ICSA, as hydroelectric power generation on the Shannon supplies just 2% of the national energy demand.

The IFA also stated in its submission that “designations of land as SAC or SPA must not stop works taking place” and that dredging should be included because “it is obvious that a significant build-up of silt has taken place over a long period of time”.

Focus on urban areas is also an issue in the submissions, with the IFA stating that the cost benefit analysis in the Areas for Further Assesment not meeting the required threshold. The organisation was critical that data used in the report was obsolete and said that recognition must be taken of the costs that have to be borne by Government and State agencies when areas are flooded.

It was also recommended that turloughs near the Shannon be included in the CFRAM report, with particular focus on Lough Funshinagh.

The public consultation for the Shannon and south western draft CFRAM has now closed. Last Friday, Minister of State at the OPW and Flood Relief Sean Canney announced details of a further tranche of draft Flood Risk Management Plans for public consultation for the Eastern River Basin District. This consultation will run for 10 weeks until 2 December.

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