Hard sums on Lough Derg

According to the Clare Champion, a Clare county councillor called Pat Hayes, who is a member of Fianna Fáil [an excitable lot, Fianna Fáil], is boycotting something or other for some reason that is not clear to me [and, to be honest, is probably entirely unimportant]. Mr Hayes thinks that water from Lough Derg should be sent to the Atlantic, where it is wasted, rather than to Dublin, where it might be used, and the newspaper cites the River Shannon Protection Alliance as estimating that

… up to 350 million litres of water could be taken from Lough Derg by 2030.

The River Shannon Protection Alliance itself doesn’t agree with those figures. It says:

The central principal and immediate purpose of the organisation is to prevent the proposal of Dublin City Council to abstract in excess of 350 million litres of water on a daily basis from Lough Ree on the river Shannon, and to oppose any action that may be harmful to the well being of the river Shannon system. Since then, the abstraction options have been considered and the current recommended proposal is to abstract upwards 500 million litres of water from Lough Derg and store it in a depleted bog hole to be developed by Bord na Móna at Garryhinch bog, (near Portarlington) where the water will then be treated and pumped on to Dublin.

Eek. That’s a bignum: a lot of litres. Let’s all panic.

On the other hand, 500 000 000 litres is 500 000 cubic metres. Each of Ardnacrusha’s four turbines uses 100 cubic metres per second. So the amount of water to be sent to Dublin every day is less than Ardnacrusha uses in 21 minutes.

If the Alliance wants to save the Shannon, shouldn’t it be trying to get Ardnacrusha closed down first?

3 responses to “Hard sums on Lough Derg

  1. We in Co Wicklow have been lead to believe that Dublin will be supplied with water by drawing an increased amount from our local reservoir, Roundwood, or Vartry Reservoir, to give it the name it was known by in James Joyce’s time. We have to hope there will be enough left for us.
    There is much misinformation flying about, for which Irish Water must carry most of the blame, since they have consistently refused to fully engage with local councils and the public.

  2. Some years ago, long before Irish Water was thought of, I read many of the engineering papers about the demand for and supply of water. The Greater Dublin Area, including parts of Wicklow, Kildare and, I think, Meath, was the focus of attention, rather than Dublin itself, and it seemed that the Area’s total resources, even with such small additions as could be provided, would be inadequate to meet the demand; the extra water would have to come from outside the area.

    Irish Water’s main problem is that it was not privatised. Had it been, preferably to multinational involving Goldman Sachs, it would be able to tell the truth, rather than having to react to the latest nitwitted pronouncement from a politician, local or national. I had a look at some of its background work, as opposed to the nonsense about water charges, and thought it was doing a good job: there are people in the organisation who know what they’re at, and I don’t see that politicians have anything whatsoever to contribute — especially given their lamentable record so far.


  3. Some Irish Water documents are available here. It would probably be easier to find things if the consumer-oriented material were separated from the strategic. Note how many of the strategic documents concern environmental matters. bjg

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.