Displaying items by tag: flooding
#FloodRelief - The scheduled Bandon Flood Relief Scheme work programme for 2017 has now commenced on the River Bandon in Co Cork.
The scheme consists of a combination of flood defences and dredging of the river bed to a level of 9.5m downstream of the Bandon weir (about 1.8m below the existing bed level) in the town and at a grade of 1/1,000 until it reaches the existing bed level 3.6km downstream of Bandon town.
Some 150,000 cubic metres of material will be dredged in the scheme, while new flood defences will also be constructed to contain flood water within the Bandon and Bridewell Rivers as well as the Mill Stream.
Since July 2016, Inland Fisheries Ireland’s (IFI) local representatives have attended meetings with the contractor Wills Bros Ltd, the employer’s representatives (ByrneLooby/PH McCarthy) and environmental consultants to the contractor (Rivus) to review the specific methodologies proposed to undertake the works.
While maintaining a positive approach to the Flood Relief Scheme, IFI says it made proposals in relation to the proposed methods of dredging, sediment management and solids level monitoring, in order to minimise any potential negative impact on the habitat, fish and aquatic invertebrate populations of the river.
While there is some discolouration of the River Bandon expected downstream of the works, IFI says it is reassured by ByrneLooby/PH McCarthy that the Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) and agreed sediment management and solids monitoring plans are being followed.
IFI will continue monitoring dredging works and will bring any non-compliance with the conditions set out to the immediate attention of ByrneLooby/PH McCarthy to ensure corrective measures are put in place.
Any repeated or deliberate non-compliances would be dealt with by IFI using its statutory powers.
#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.”
One of the UK’s top technology firms is helping one of the UK’s top sailing clubs to prepare for an event, which hopefully will never occur.
Pump Technology, based in Berkshire, whose group of companies include LeeSan Marine Sanitation, contacted Ullswater Yacht Club to offer their unique equipment to assist, should the unthinkable happen, and the Club is hit by another flood.
Pump Technology has been in existence for 25 years and supply pumps for wastewater disposal. Their unique equipment is used in all seven Astute submarines built in Barrow in Furness. They also supply pumping equipment for UK leading businesses, including Marks and Spencer, Tesco, Greggs and many more.
LeeSan have been supplying marine sanitation equipment and sewage pump out stations to the boating market for over 50 years and were extremely instrumental in developing the “Closed tank” system, which now keeps all of our lakes and canals free of black water waste.
Clive Vare, Project Manager for Pump Technology said “Our firm made contact with Ullswater Yacht Club after one of their members telephoned us for advice. We were sad to hear of the severe flooding which Storm Desmond caused to the area and were happy to offer our assistance. Hopefully the area will not be affected by flooding again, but should this happen our Flood Emergency Kit will certainly be of immense value.”
The Flood Emergency Kit has kindly been donated to UYC by Pump Technology and should an emergency flooding situation arise will enable members to react quickly to tackle the problem.
The kit, which can be easily stored, comes in a carrying case, which acts as a filter, and quickly pumps water out of a building via the fire style hose.
Peter Lewis, Commodore of Ullswater Yacht Club said “We are extremely grateful to Pump Technology for kindly donating the Flood Emergency Kit. If the area is again hit by flooding our members can use the kit to fight back, limit damage and recover quickly”. He continued, “The kit can also be used for other purposes, including getting rid of excess water in boats at risk of sinking”.
#Shannon - The latest meeting of the Shannon Flood Risk State Agency Co-ordination Working Group in Carrick-on-Shannon saw the unprecedented decision to develop a plan for a strategic maintenance programme on the River Shannon.
Programmed maintenance works have not been carried out on the Shannon for a significant period of time, and silt and vegetation have built up, which impacts on the river’s conveyance capacity.
The Shannon Flood Risk Group, which is led by the Office of Public Works (OPW), considers that maintenance works on the Shannon are essential to halt the deterioration of the river channel.
The group recognises that the carrying out such maintenance will be problematic and in bringing forward its plans, it will be addressing all of the necessary legal, environmental, technical and other considerations that arise, and will bring together all of the relevant stakeholders to discuss, initiate and manage the development of this programme.
Séan Canney, Minister of State for the OPW and Flood Relief, was in attendance at the meeting on Friday 2 December.
“The OPW already maintains over 11,500 km of river channel and over 700km of embankments protecting some 650,000 acres of agricultural land,” he said. “I am delighted that the group, which is chaired by the OPW, has taken the decision to develop a plan for strategic maintenance works on the River Shannon.
“There have been many calls for a maintenance programme to be put in place for the Shannon. A planned maintenance programme for the Shannon would complement the group’s work programme and the specific measures that are identified for the areas at risk in the Draft Shannon Flood Risk Management Plan.
Minister Canney said such plans “are a major step forward to help Government make informed investment decisions on flood risk management and for which the Government has provided €430 million in the Capital Investment Plan 2016 to 2021.
“This is very positive news and comes on top of the decisions by the group at its last meeting to trial the lowering of the lake levels in Lough Allen to help mitigate potential flood risk for this winter ,and to evaluate the benefits from any short- and medium-term programme of localised dredging and any future piloting to remove some pinch points along the Shannon.”
The Shannon Flood Risk Group met for the first time in February of this year, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.
“The decisions taken by the group to date clearly demonstrate that it is working well and is firmly focussed on finding practical solutions that will help reduce flood risk on the Shannon to the benefit of the communities along our largest river,” said Minister Canney.
“The results of this cutting-edge project will inform consideration of rolling out a similar management model for other river basins.”
#Shannon - The Shannon Flood Risk State Agency Co-ordination Working Group is holding its first open day on its published Work Programme for 2016 at the Civic Centre in Athlone from 11am to 3pm on Thursday 5 May.
Members of the public and other interested parties are invited to attend what will be one of a series of open days on the Working Group's programme this summer.
#DublinBay - An independent expert commissioned to evaluate local concerns over the new sea wall in Clontarf has recommended its height be reduced by at least 10 centimetres.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, fears had grown among residents in the North Dublin Bay suburb that new flood defences constructed as part of the Sutton to Sandycove cycleway would exceed the height of the existing wall at the wooden bridge to the Bull Wall.
In response, Dublin City Council commissioned Dr Jimmy Murphy of University College Cork to examine the "technical information" that directed construction plans which residents claim breach previous promises over its maximum height and appearance.
But according to The Irish Times, while Dr Murphy's draft report says the wall's 4.25m height was "appropriate" in light of the council's long-term flood prevention criteria, there was no consistency as to the design plans and information used to inform such.
And for the time being, Dr Murphy suggests reducing the wall's "sea level rise" allowance by 10 to 20cm "at locations where the visual amenity is most affected".
The Irish Times has much more on the story HERE.
#Flooding - OPW chair Clare McGrath yesterday (1 February 2016) chaired the first meeting of the Shannon Flood Risk State Agency Co-ordination Working Group established to enhance on-going co-operation across all of the agencies involved with the River Shannon.
Following the meeting, McGrath stated that “the group has discussed putting together a shared work programme for 2016 and is in the process of conducting an audit of roles and responsibilities.”
The Working Group will build on the existing work and commitment of all State agencies involved, namely the OPW; Waterways Ireland; Inland Fisheries Ireland; the ESB; Bord na Mona; Irish Water; the Environmental Protection Agency; the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht; and local authorities represented by the City and County Managers Association.
It is focussed on ensuring the best possible level of co-ordination between all statutory bodies involved in flood management on the Shannon, and to deliver the highest level of efficiencies to add value to the Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management (CFRAM) Programme.
McGrath added that the Working Group will meet again on 14 March to finalise its Shannon Flood Risk Work Programme 2016 and agree a process for wider consultation including with non-statutory bodies.
Working Group Terms of Reference
Informed by the National Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management Programme and in order to further effectively manage and mitigate the flood risk on the Shannon catchment, the Working Group will:
- Develop and agree a Shannon Flood Risk Work Programme (with identified output KPI’s) to focus and prioritise actions and activities to manage flood risk for the Shannon catchment.
- Provide coordinated direction and guidance to ensure delivery by State agencies, to meet their statutory role, of their constituent work programme in relation to flood risk management.
- Adopt and/or develop guidelines and protocols to inform and/or assist better co-ordination and co-operation by and between State agencies.
- Informed by an audit of roles and responsibilities in relation to flood risk management on the Shannon catchment, seek clarity on any legal and policy issues to inform its work.
- Consult with other bodies, including voluntary bodies and communities.
- Provide guidance in relation to roles and responsibilities for non-statutory bodies involved in managing flood risk on the Shannon catchment.
- When agreed, monitor and report quarterly on the implementation of the Shannon Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management (CFRAM) Plan.
- Develop other structures as an efficient approach to progressing and informing its work.
Citing its history of working "in a positive and proactive manner" with the Government, State agencies, local authorities and others on the drainage and management of surface waters, IFI says it "will work with all relevant parties in expediting emergency flood relief works."
Following the recent meeting on the Shannon flooding crisis, IFI says it has offered emergency assistance on the ground, and suggested that the Local Authority (Works) Act 1949 be used as a legal instrument by which "exemptions for emergency in stream works could be progressed".
According to IFI chief executive Dr Ciaran Byrne: “Fisheries legislation provides for a closed season for undertaking instream works. However, in emergency circumstances, such as those currently being experienced, the 1949 Act provides for the relevant minister to issue an exemption subject to taking precautions and making provisions for the protection of fisheries.”
Cork County Council has already requested exemption from the closed season for instream works from now through to the end of 2017, though IFI says that falls beyond the scope of the Act, which only provides for emergency works.
Regardless, IFI maintains that it will continue to work with Cork County Council on the removal of excess gravel from the Bandon River downstream of Bandon's old road bridge "to allay fears that these gravels may cause flooding".
IFI's statement adds that it looks forward to the successful implementation of the upcoming OPW Bandon Main Drainage Scheme.
Scheduled to begin in June this year, the works will see the rock bed of the river lowered by up to 2m in the heart of the town, tapering downstream for up to 3.5km.
This scheme was agreed several years ago and was prepared by the OPW following consultation and consultative reports. It includes provision for a fisheries habitat rehabilitation programme once the design bed levels and flood conveyance capacity are achieved.
#Flooding - Galway county councillors have blamed the National Parks and Wildlife Service for blocking flood prevention measures.
Galway Bay FM reports on a special sitting of Galway County Council, which heard a number of members take the NPWS to task over what they perceived as putting protections for wildlife over those of hundreds of families in the county affected by the recent severe flooding along the Shannon.
Cllr Michael Connolly claimed relief works planned for Meelick were halted over concerns with a single fish species – while Cllr Michael Fahy scoffed that digging emergency channels was more important than "bats and the bees".
Galway Bay FM has more on the story HERE.
However, any potential benefits in visitor numbers are far outweighed by the severe cost to local businesses, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.
And flooding around the lough will continue to be a problem for the foreseeable future due to a combination of poor water flow control and unreliable long-range weather forecasts.
That was the stark warning from Rivers Agency chief David Potter speaking to a Storming committee earlier this week, as the Belfast Telegraph reports.
"In order to reduce the lough by a foot, we need between 25 and 38 days' notice, and after about five days our level of confidence in the weather forecast is pretty shaky," he said.
"Hopefully that describes the dilemma that we are in. We can't anticipate to the extent that people believe we can."
Meanwhile, a meeting in Brussels this week has dismissed as a myth the notion that EU regulations have prevented flood relief in Co Galway, which is still suffering the effect of December's winter storms.
As Galway Bay FM reports, MEP Marian Harkin revealed that Ireland has made only one application for works of overriding public interest in the last 20 years, as the vast majority of decisions are taken at member state level.