Tag Archives: rain

Why rural Ireland is doomed?

Lewis Davis says:

Empirically, I find a robust negative correlation between rainfall variation, a measure of exogenous agricultural risk, and a measure of individual responsibility. Using rainfall variation as an instrument, I find that individual responsibility has a large positive effect on economic development.

Abstract on Tyler Cowen‘s site. You can rent the whole article for $6.


A wet winter?

Today’s Irish Times reports on yesterday’s launch of a report called Ireland’s climate: the road ahead [92.9 Mb 103 page PDF here]. The report predicts:

  • Daytime summer temperatures to rise by up to 2°C
  • Lowest winter night-time temperatures to rise by 2-3°C
  • Milder winters to reduce cold-related mortality rates
  • Wetter winters and drier summers
  • Increase in frequency of heavy precipitation event.

Chapter 10 “Climate change and catchment hydrology” covers river flows.

Met Éireann’s report on summer 2013 [2 page PDF] is available here; rainfall was down [on the 1981–2010 average] at all stations except Valentia; temperature was up everywhere and so was sunshine. So perhaps we’ll have a wet winter to look forward to.


The Met Éireann report [PDF] for spring (March to May) 2012 shows that rainfall measured at its Mullingar station was only 59% of the average for 1981–2010.

Royal water: oral hearing

Irish Times report on the oral hearing into the proposed abstraction of water from Lough Ennell. The hearing is scheduled for three days at the Mullingar Park Hotel and a decision is expected by 11 June 2012. The two cases are being heard together:

PW3005: Ladestown, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath.
Case Type: Provisional Order Water Supplies Act (Board Reference: PL25 .PW3005)
Description: Taking of a Supply of Water from Lough Ennell to Supply the Royal Canal.


JA0030: Kilpatrick Bridge and Clonsingle, County Westmeath.
Case Type: LA Non-Road development – Application (Board Reference: PL25 .JA0030)
Description: Royal Canal Water Supply Scheme from Lough Ennell, Ladestown.



Royal water

The Mullingar Advertiser discusses the Royal Canal water supply here. Some background info on this site here, here and here.

Mirabile dictu …

… it’s raining.

Royal water

The summit level of the Royal Canal has been closed until further notice because of shortage of water and the 34th and 35th levels have been closed until 20 April for emergency repairs. Marine Notices here, along with a general waarning about low water levels.

Met Éireann’s Monthly Summary for March 2012 [PDF] says:

Rainfall totals were relatively low for the time of year, with percentage of normal values below 50% in most locations. Mullingar [which is on the summit level of the Royal Canal] reported its driest March since 1961 (51 years), while most other stations reported their driest March in at least 7 years. Number of wet days recorded (days with 1 mm or more) was below average everywhere, with most stations measuring their lowest March maximum daily rainfall in seven to 39 years.

Can we have our normal weather back please? Or will that be coming in the “summer” months?

User surveys

Last Saturday, I had just checked that the nineteen members of the Inland Waterways Protection Society, and accompanying walkers from O’Briensbridge Community Group, IWAI Lough Derg Branch and elsewhere, had successfully crossed the Shannon at Plassey, using the University of Limerick’s road-bridge instead of the Black Bridge, which is still closed after last year’s floods.

I was walking back to my car, so that I could drive to meet the group at Gillogue and ensure that they were getting their sandwiches at the Lame Duck, when I was accosted by a woman in a car. It was pouring rain and my dogs were getting impatient, but I listened politely while she asked if I would participate in a survey. “For whom?” I asked. “For Waterways Ireland,” she said. So I thought I’d better play along.

The survey was conducted as she sat in her car, dry, but obstructing the traffic, while I stood outside in the rain, keeping an anxious eye on the dogs. I was not inclined to prolong the time spent answering questions.

Now, I was told recently (after submitting an FOI request) that the towing-path and bridge at Plassey were leased by the Department of Finance to Limerick County Council, so it’s not entirely clear what Waterways Ireland has to do with the current management of that stretch or why it wanted user views. Did the interviewer choose that stretch as a bit of Limerick in which she could see water while staying in her car?

I was asked what I thought of the facilities “toilets and so forth”, and pointed out that there weren’t any. I struggled to convey the fact that, although I was walking before I was accosted, I disliked the activity intensely (especially in the rain) and that, although I visit Plassey several times a year, it is because I am interested in industrial archaeology, not because I want exercise. And there didn’t seem to be a way of conveying that I had organised for about twenty-five other people to walk the towing-path, but that I wasn’t myself participating.

Then I was asked if I had heard of Waterways Ireland and if I knew what they did ….

The 2004 survey is available from WI’s website here. But I wonder whether WI commissioned any surveys between 2004 and 2010 and, if so, where they are to be found.