Sunday 16 November 2008

Council to discuss use of Shannon water for the capital

The controversial plan by Dublin City Council to take water from the Shannon will be placed before a special meeting next week.

The local authority has convened its environment committee to consider the proposal, which has come up against strenuous opposition.

A spokesman for the council confirmed the plan will be one of several options placed before the committee. "If we pass it, then it will go before the full council for approval" - said the chairman of the environment committee, Tom Stafford (FF).

Even if it is passed, a public consultation process will have to be undertaken, the spokesman said. The council proposes to abstract 350 million litres of water a day from Lough Ree and Lough Derg to serve the capital. City water engineers believe Dublin will require a new source of water by 2015 to cater for its growing population.

The details of how the council would implement such a policy is the subject of a major study of Dublin's water supply. One of the options being examined by RPS Veolia is the possibility of taking water from the lakes in winter and storing it in a reservoir.

Mr Stafford said he has invited the ESB and the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland to attend the meeting, to be held on November 21.

The Shannon Protection Alliance, who object to the scheme, marched to Leinster House in September protesting against the council's proposals.

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