Menu

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

Minister Outlines Maintenance Measures By Shannon Flood Risk Group

18th April 2017
815 Views
Minister of State for Flood Relief Seán Canney addresses Environ 2017 in Athlone on Monday 10 April Minister of State for Flood Relief Seán Canney addresses Environ 2017 in Athlone on Monday 10 April Photo: Waterways Ireland

#Shannon - Minister of State for Flood Relief Seán Canney outlined a range of additional measures being taken to address flood risk on the River Shannon at the recent Environ 2017 conference in Athlone.

Speaking at the event in AIT last Monday (10 April), Minister Canney made reference to the most recent meeting of the Shannon Flood Risk State Agency Co-ordination Working Group on 21 March, which set out its actions manage flood risk for the Shannon catchment.

“This extensive work programme demonstrates the ongoing work and co-ordination by all State bodies to jointly and proactively address flood risk on the Shannon,” he said.

The work programme follows from the major decision taken last December to develop a plan for a strategic maintenance programme on the River Shannon, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

The working group established a sub-committee to develop the plan that will halt the deterioration of the river channel and complement the preferred measures for those areas at assessed risk identified through the Shannon CFRAM Study.

Minister Canney announced that the working group has now agreed to the delivery of targeted maintenance in specific locations that are being identified as feasible by the sub-committee.

“The recent targeted activity by Waterways Ireland and the OPW around Madden’s Island downstream of Athlone is a successful demonstration of this collaborative approach,” he said, “and both the Group and I would like to acknowledge the valuable contribution of the NPWS to ensure that the clearing of the trees was carried out appropriately to enhance the conveyance capacity of the channel.”

The minister added that the working group has agreed to some environmental and habitat surveys as a first necessary step to inform a long-term plan of maintenance. The group will also identify any policy or legislative barriers to progressing maintenance works that can benefit flood risk management.

Additionally, the working group has agreed to review and continue the pilot lowering of the levels on Lough Allen during the winter season for another year.

Minister Canney said the protocols agreed between the ESB, Waterways Ireland and the Office of Public Works (OPW) were successfully implemented resulting in a lowering of the target winter water level by 0.7 metres.

However, working group acknowledged that the impact of the trial on flooding has not been fully tested due to the relatively dry winter period up until late February this year.

Regarding the impact of summer flooding on the agricultural community, the minister said the working group has endorsed a specific project to identify viable flood risk reduction measures in the Shannon Callows.

Building on initial assessments undertaken as part of the Shannon CFRAM study, the OPW is leading on the project in conjunction with Waterways Ireland, Inland Fisheries Ireland and the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS). This project will include more detailed assessment of the possible removal of identified constrictions or ‘pinch points’ upstream of Meelick Weir.

“I am delighted that the group, which is chaired by the OPW, is progressing the plans for strategic maintenance works on the River Shannon,” said Minister Canney. “This will complement the group’s work programme and the specific measures that are identified for the areas at significant risk in the Draft Shannon Flood Risk Management Plan.

“I welcome the twin-track approach being adopted which will see targeted maintenance activity being carried out while a proposal for a long-term strategic programme is being developed.”

The minister added: "The activities of the group play a valuable role in supporting the objectives of the Action Plan for Rural Development, ‘Realising our Rural Potential’. In particular, the progression of flood relief actions in the Shannon catchment identified in the action plan along with those identified for the country as a whole, will have a positive impact on rural communities who are living with flood risk.”

Published in Inland Waterways
MacDara Conroy

About The Author

MacDara Conroy

Email The Author

MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading Afloat.ie than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open.

Afloat.ie is Ireland's only full–time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

DBSC
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

mgm sidebutton
bjmarine sidebutton
xyachts sidebutton

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events

tokyo sidebutton
sovscup sidebutton
vdlr sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
viking sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
sellingboat sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating