ESB should have reservations about Dublin water plan, says Shannon activist

Mike Dwane

Reporter:

Mike Dwane

THE ESB - as custodians of the fisheries on the Shannon - should be “hugely concerned” by proposals from Dublin City Council to extract at least 350 million litres of water a day from Lough Derg to supplement the capital’s dwindling water supply, according to the River Shannon Protection Alliance.

THE ESB - as custodians of the fisheries on the Shannon - should be “hugely concerned” by proposals from Dublin City Council to extract at least 350 million litres of water a day from Lough Derg to supplement the capital’s dwindling water supply, according to the River Shannon Protection Alliance.

Speaking ahead of the group’s public meeting in the White House Bar this Thursday, Gerry Siney, RSPA, reminded the energy giant of its responsibility to anglers.

Media reports say the ESB is looking to be compensated if water extraction adversely impacts on power generation capacity at Ardnacrusha.

“I’m saying the ESB should be equally concerned as all of us. For one thing, the ESB have entered into agreements with the anglers and only recently announced a programme of restocking and habitat improvements. If that becomes damaged, the ESB would have serious questions to answer,” said Mr Siney, Castletroy.

Communities along the Lower Shannon were heavily reliant on revenues from angling and boating tourism, he added.

THE RSPA is not only highlighting risks to the environment and the economy from the extraction plan but also feels the proposals may be “unnecessary” when other options for supplying Dublin had not been fully explored. Mr Siney said these included desalination, which technological breakthroughs now made a less costly option; driving wells into aquifers in Dublin and Leinster; repairing Dublin’s network of pipes; rainwater harvesting, metering and other conservation measures.

Mr Siney said Dublin deemed the proposal necessary not only to supply consumers but to allow Dublin continue to attract foreign direct investment.

“What we are saying to them is ‘why bring the water to the industry and why not bring the industry to the water?’ We could do with it down here,” Mr Siney said.

The RSPA meeting takes place this Thursday, November 24, at the White House Bar, O’Connell Street at 8.30pm. Complimentary finger food will be served.