Flood relief schemes to see €430m investment by 2021

Next five years to see more funding on such schemes than was spent in previous 20

The State will provide €430 million between 2016 and 2021 for capital investment in flood relief schemes – some €20 million more than was spent on such schemes in total over the past 20 years, Minister of State Simon Harris has said.

Mr Harris, who has responsibility for the OPW, said the money would provide protection for areas such as Dublin, Kilkenny, Fermoy, Mallow and Clonmel, together with investment in projects to address more localised flooding.

Referring to an “enormous challenge in the years ahead”, Mr Harris said flooding continues to threaten many towns. He said the OPW had formulated a detailed assessment of the risks facing the most vulnerable 300 communities.

The first results of the assessment, in the form of draft flood risk maps for those 300 areas, is to be published shortly under a statutory public consultation process.

Consultation process

Mr Harris urged as many people as possible to participate in the consultation process. He said the flood risk maps would lead to the preparation of a flood risk management plan for each of the 300 most vulnerable areas.

The aim is to identify a priority set of measures, structural and non-structural, to address the flood risk in each area.

The plans when taken together “will form the core of a national plan to deal with the problem of flooding over the medium term”, he said.

The €430 million represents a substantial increase of 59 per cent in the level of capital investment provided in the last five-year programme to 2015.

It will allow the OPW to implement flood relief schemes already at an advanced stage of readiness, such as those in Skibbereen, Claregalway, Bandon and Templemore.

The money will also allow the OPW to continue design and planning work for flood relief schemes in the pipeline such as those for Cork city, Enniscorthy, Arklow, Clonakilty and Crossmolina.