Major Water Supply Project Given Government Green Light

It's set to serve the midlands.

The major Water Supply Project from Uisce Éireann has been given the green light by the State.

It will serve the Midlands and Eastern regions, including Offaly and Westmeath, and will cost up to €6 billion.

Uisce Éireann said last week the two regions were too dependent on the water supply from the River Liffey, with this new project, which is being described as one of the largest and most important infrastructure projects in the history of the State, to see a pipeline from the River Shannon to a reservoir in Peamount, Dublin.

It received Cabinet approval, in principle, under the Infrastructure Guidelines, and can now proceed to planning.

The development will provide Dublin, Meath, Kildare and Wicklow with a resilient, safe, secure water supply, while a 170km treated 'spine' will benefit areas such as Tullamore, Mullingar, Borrisokane, and Moneygall.

Uisce Éireann estimates the Midlands and Eastern regions will need 34% more water by 2044, with the project set to ensure sustainable water supplies for half of the population up to 2050 and beyond.

It's hoped planning permission can be submitted to An Bórd Pleánala next year, with construction expected to take 4 to five years.

Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien says it will also enable much-needed housing delivery:

"One of the key recommendations in the recently published Housing Commission report was to ‘take urgent action to ensure delivery of the critical Water Supply Project for the Eastern and Midlands Region” and with today’s Cabinet approval we are doing just that and showing our commitment to this project and to the future generations."

Uisce Éireann CEO Niall Gleeson says the project is critical for the future of the country:

"By delivering a secure, climate-proof supply of water for up to 50% of the State’s population it will facilitate increased demand for housing, enable sustainable economic growth and support competitiveness across the Region. Crucially it will also help us meet the challenges of climate change by diversifying our water supplies to ensure safe, resilient water services for communities across the region, and reduce the vulnerability to drought and other extreme weather events.

The Water Supply Project Eastern and Midlands Region proposes to abstract a maximum of 2% of the average flow of the River Shannon at Parteen Basin downstream of Lough Derg. Treated water will then be piped 170km through counties Tipperary, Offaly and Kildare to a termination point reservoir at Peamount in County Dublin, connecting into the Greater Dublin network."

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