The ESB has been asked to explain why water levels in Lough Derg have dropped dramatically over the last number of weeks after Cllr Seamus Morris said he had been inundated with calls from fishermen and other lake users who cannot get their boats into the water.
“The level has been dropped by 1.5 feet in the last month. That means even the smallest of boats are in trouble when they want to get out,” he said.
“Lough Derg is a protected habitat under the Natura 2000 programme. The reduction in water levels will adversely affect wildlife, and consequently tourism. There hasn’t been a dry spell, so it’s obvious that the water level is changing artificially. The rapidity of the drop has caused suspicion that this is a simulation of a drought such as will occur when Uisce Éireann (Irish Water) extracts water from the lake,” he said.
Cllr Morris said that Tipperary people needed to realise that Irish Water was “eyeing Lough Derg and seeing something they can sell”.
The SF councillor said he would contact Tipperary County Council to ask the ESB and explain what was happening.
He is encouraging all lake users to join the campaign to stop the proposed water extraction, saying that once Dublin city turns on the taps “they will suck the lake dry”.
Cllr Morris said he intended fighting the abstraction plan the whole way to Europe, and welcomed a visit last Friday by the party’s South MEP Liadh Ní Riada to Dromineer to see the lake for herself, as well as the businesses that will be affected by the abstraction plan.