The Preferred Solution
After a thorough strategic environmental assessment, a preferred solution to the issue of water shortages has been recommended. This solution will incorporate an interim storage facility, which will enable abstraction from the new source to be regulated in proportion to river flow rate. This ensures the sustainability of source, both from an ecological, and a supply position.
Demand side sustainability is also being addressed in this new proposed solution. Investment in networks rehabilitation to reduce “unaccounted for” water losses (leaks) is planned and currently being implemented. Plans to install domestic water metering coupled with the introduction of water charges will also reduce domestic consumption.
The Abstraction Regime
Interim storage at Garryhinch will enable the regulation of water abstraction based on both the Shannon river flow and the water level in Lough Derg.
The abstraction regime will be established following detailed analysis/modelling of data that will be collected during the environmental impact assessment.
The storage capacity at Garryhinch will be based on 80 years’ historic river flow records. This approach will cater for drought periods when there will be no abstraction from the River Shannon.
This reservoir is proposed to be the first dual purpose reservoir in Ireland, designed from the very beginning to meet two core functions
– water supply
– recreation and leisure
The Advantages of the Water Supply Project
The Water Supply Project (WSP) should be expected to contribute to regional economic development by:
- Meeting a major requirement – water supply for the long term. The site at Garryhinch has the potential to be expanded to allow increased storage if required
- Sustainable water supplies will enable the attraction of industry, into the region. This is particularly important for large scale foreign direct investment projects
- Assisting the farming sector whose expansion plans are in line with projected growth in world food demand
- Sustainably re-using former peatlands by transferring them into a new asset
- Offering a range of job and business opportunities in the region
- Providing a new and improved range of leisure and recreation opportunities at Garryhinch