Work starts on project to supply water to Dublin from Shannon

€500m scheme expected to bring water from River Shannon to capital within seven years

Irish Water’s Dublin Water Supply project is intended to pump 350 million litres of water a day from the River Shannon to serve the capital’s drinking water needs for the next 70 years.

Irish Water’s Dublin Water Supply project is intended to pump 350 million litres of water a day from the River Shannon to serve the capital’s drinking water needs for the next 70 years.

 

Irish Water has started work on the €500 million project to supply Dublin with water from the River Shannon.

The Dublin Water Supply project is, aside from water metering, the first major infrastructure project undertaken by the new utility.

It is now seeking tenders for a “survey specialist” to undertake a water quality survey of Lough Derg and the Parteen Basin from where the supply will be sourced.

The project, to pump 350 million litres of water a day from the River Shannon to serve the capital’s drinking water needs for the next 70 years, was being pursued by Dublin City Council until Irish Water took over the responsibility for water services from local authorities last month.

The Shannon proposal was put forward in a 2006 report commissioned by Dublin City Council from consultant engineers RPS, one of the companies that have provided consultancy services to Irish Water.

The project stalled amid protests from communities and politicians representing the Shannon region. A 2010 assessment of the plan, also carried out for the council by RPS, confirmed the Shannon scheme was the best option for supplying the 10 counties along the route as well as to the greater Dublin area.

In September 2011 the council said it intended to lodge a planning application with An Bord Pleanála by March 2013 with the project scheduled for completion by 2020. The application was not made ahead of the handover of services to Irish Water.

Last October the council’s executive manager with responsibility for water, Adrian Conway, said it would be close to 10 years before the Shannon scheme was producing water.Irish Water says supply is “urgently required” and intends to have the project running within seven years.

“Irish Water will submit a planning application for this project at the end of 2015,” a spokeswoman said.

Its time line allows one year for a Bord Pleanála decision, including an oral hearing, and two years for design and procurement from approval of planning. “This stage will require detailed design, tender processes, funding agreement, all funding and budget approvals and contract signing,” the spokeswoman said. Construction will take about three years she said.

The tender notice states there is “an urgent need” to award the contract, and therefore the applicants who are deemed by Irish Water qualified to tender for the job will have just 10 days to submit bids.