A GROUP opposing plans to drain billions of gallons of water from the River Shannon to feed Dublin's water supply has teamed up with a Dublin-based organisation who claim the solution to the capital's water problems lie right under their feet.
Members of the Shannon Protection Alliance have joined forces with a group of Dublin activists, who are fighting plans by Fingal County Council to build a super dump on top of an aquifer, which they claim could supply fresh water to the entire Dublin area.
Both groups say they will "vehemently oppose any move by either Dublin City or Fingal County Council to destroy the economy, environment and future sustainability of the Shannon and north Dublin regions".
"It's horrendous that while one Dublin authority wants to import water from over 100 miles away, another is working to destroy a perfectly fine water supply on its doorstep with an enormous landfill," said Gemma Larkin, of the Lusk Nevitt Action Group.
Concerned residents and Fingal County Council are currently awaiting results of an An Bord Pleanala oral hearing on whether plans for a 650-acre super dump at Lusk, Co Dublin, will get the go ahead.
Local Green Party TD and newly appointed junior minister Trevor Sargent is supporting the action group and has himself lodged objections to the proposed super dump.
"The threat of a super dump on this site highlights the lack of consideration for water sources in the country," said Mr Sargent.
"The issue of taking water from the Midlands to supply Dublin also shows up the failure of successive authorities to put a water conservation strategy in place.
"There seems to be a greater focus on where to find new water sources rather than where can we conserve existing supplies," said Mr Sargent.
PJ Walsh, of the Shannon Protection Alliance, said: "Any attempt to extract even one drop of water from Lough Ree or the Shannon will be strenuously opposed."
Dublin City Council (DCC) have set out plans to extract up to 127-billion litres a year from Lough Ree to feed the capital's ailing water supply by 2016.
But Mr Walsh claims this would reduce the volume of Lough Ree, Ireland's largest lake, by 20pc per year and would destroy the local economies of at least 10 counties. "We're not going to compromise one iota on this matter," he said.
© Irish Independent