The Shannon Protection Alliance has vowed to fight any plans by Irish Water to take water from LoughDerg to supply the Greater Dublin Area.
“Any such proposal will face the strongest opposition to such needless, high risk, and outmoded infrastructural planning. This Irish Water / Dublin City Council proposal (the third attempt in recent years) would extract water at a rate of hundreds of millions of litres per day (MLD), and there can be no doubt that rates of abstraction will increase exponentially year-on-year, with disastrous consequences economically, environmentally, and socially for all of the communities along the full length of the Shannon,” the group said in a statement.
The group maintained that Dublin did not now have a shortage of water, and it need not do so in the future. Current supplies are more than adequate for current demand. However Dublin City Council has been throwing half of it away through years of leak ridden supply pipes and creaking treatment facilities, all of which have suffered from decades of neglect and under investment.
“Injecting Shannon water into such a system would result in wastage of most of this new supply, while delivering only marginal improvement. On the other hand, reducing leakage rates to international standards would double existing supplies,” they said.
The alliance said that there were are abundant supplies closer to Dublin which can be availed of more easily and at a fraction of the cost of the current proposal, which could cost E1bn, with a 160km pipeline being required. An estimated 100 million litres per day of high quality ground water is available sustainably from the Fingal / Meath / Kildare aquifer and desalination can provide unlimited supplies indefinitely.
Irish Water is calling for submissions regarding these proposals, and the RSPA will be responding robustly, questioning all of the assumptions and forecasting on which a new Dublin supply and Shannon abstraction are based.