The Royal Canal water supply applications have been approved by An Bord Pleanala. There were two separate applications [see here and here] but they were in effect treated as one. There are five PDFs available on each page and I haven’t read all of them yet. However, on a first glance, I note that:
2. The proposed development shall be operated as follows:
(a) Rates of abstraction from Lough Ennell to the Royal Canal shall be as specified in the public notices and, in particular, shall not exceed 43,636 cubic metres of water in any 24 hour continuous period and subject to a total maximum abstraction of 6,586,363 cubic metres per annum.
(b) Abstraction from Lough Ennell to supply the Royal Canal shall cease when the lake level reaches 79.325 mOD Malin Datum, being the crest level of Clonsingle weir, measured at Clonsingle weir by continuous monitoring.
(c) The fish pass at Clonsingle weir shall incorporate a minimum flow of 0.29m3/second.
(d) A minimum flow of 682 m3/day (0.5MGD), taken directly from Lough Owel, and excluding water from the fish farm, shall be retained in the original canal feeder.
Reason: In the interest of protecting the integrity of the Lough Ennell Special Area of Conservation and the ecological interest of the River Brosna and the canal feeder, and in the interest of protecting material assets at Lough Ennell and the River Brosna.
If I remember correctly, the amount of water available from Lough Ennell will not always provide enough (eg in a dry season) to keep the canal full. Still, this is a significant advance for Waterways Ireland and for Royal Canal enthusiasts.