Tag Archives: lakes

Monitoring water levels

Several organisations maintain sensors that detect water levels; some of them publish their readings on tinterweb.

The Office of Public Works, for example, shows real-time water levels here; this page shows the changes at Banagher over the past thirty-five days. It may be that the ESB’s run-off of water at Parteen Villa Weir has been having some effect.

The Environmental Protection Agency has a list of monitoring stations but you have to swear not to burn down the queen’s dockyards, insult the president or sell your granny before you’re allowed to look at it. When you’ve done that, you can view Hydronet data, but you have to choose your River Basin District first. If you choose the Shannon RBD, you get a list of stations — none of them on the Shannon itself — arranged in no comprehensible order, so you’re on your own after that. Here’s the one at Tyone on the Nenagh River by way of example.

Finally, Waterways Ireland has information here. The page takes quite a while to load. It covers only the waterways for which the body is responsible and information about the current water level (as compared with MSL Malin) is of limited use unless you’ve been monitoring it for some time. And, alas, there is no information on anywhere on the Shannon south of Meelick (Victoria) Weir, presumably because Waterways Ireland can’t control anything south of that.

Who can? The ESB, and I suspect they must have gauges at, say, Killaloe, but if they do I can’t find the readings published anywhere. It would be a boon and a blessing to men if ESB were to publish its information.

There is one other source of information that might help: there are some webcams on Irish rivers. Farsons have several, though none on the Shannon, and at the moment I can’t get any of the Irish ones to work for me.

 

Rural nitwits and retirement communities

I’ve just been writing elsewhere to the effect that national politicians are a pack of nitwits. I was cheered therefore, in a sense, to note that local politicians, at least in Co Mayo, are (if possible) even more thick-headed than their national counterparts.

However, I am happy to be able to offer a solution, one that kills two birds with one stone. There are, it seems, many English pensioners living in poverty on boats on the canals and unable (or at least unwilling) to pay for the privilege. I had intended to suggest that Waterways Ireland should provide them with moorings away from the honeypot areas.

WI could then charge more for berths at, say, Hazelhatch, Sallins, Blanchardstown and Lowtown, catering for those in work who could afford a couple of thousand a year, while the pensioners, who don’t need to be within commuting distance of Dublin, could be accommodated in rural areas where their small additional spending would make a difference. That would help to increase those community and economic benefits to which the subsidy-seeking boat-owners draw our attention, bringing spending to deprived rural areas.

I was thinking of Pollagh, for instance: it has a pub, a shop, a church and a visiting burger van, and easy access to supplies of turf.

But the Mayo problem reminds me that Mayo too has lakes. So why not ship the boats to Mayo? As the canals byelaws provide that boats should not discharge any water other than from engine-cooling, these boats must be fitted with holding tanks or other non-discharging loos, so there would be no pollution problem. In fact Mayo could advertise itself to the world as offering floating retirement communities at modest cost, thus renewing its own population while solving a problem for boat-owners. I thnk this is a winner.

Irish lakes: areas

This information might come in useful some day ….

Lough Neagh: 39,200 ha

Lough Corrib: 17,800 ha

Lough Derg: 13,000 ha

Lower Erne: 10,950 ha

Lough Ree: 10,500 ha

Lough Mask: 8,900 ha

Lough Allen: 3,500 ha

Upper Erne: 3,450 ha

Lough Key: 900 ha

Divide hectares by 100 to get square kilometres.