The Government has allocated €260 million to provide flood defence measures for almost 8,000 homes nationwide.
Minister of State for the Office of Public Works and Flood Relief, Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran made the announcement to the media on Tuesday this week.
“Flood risk management has in recent decades been a priority issue for Government to mitigate the damage and costs associated with flooding. The impact of flooding to the economy and the public cannot be overstated. To see homes and businesses destroyed by flooding, which is recurring, has financial and emotional impacts on the individual,” Minister Moran said.
The €260m will be spread across 47 schemes nationwide, with the majority of works set to start in January, 2018. In Athlone, work has already begun at the flood-prone Iona Park area of the town. Works in Athlone will continue into the new year and are expected to cost €6 million.
Through the OPW Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management (CFRAM ) Programme, detailed engineering analysis and assessment has been undertaken for 300 identified communities most impacted by flooding. The details of the flood risk and proposed feasible measures for each of these communities will be set out in 29 Flood Risk Management Plans.
The evidence from the CFRAM Programme highlights that it would be feasible to invest in flood defence schemes to protect approximately 95 per cent of those properties deemed at risk.
The OPW has submitted the CFRAM plans to the Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform for an independent review. Once observations are addressed, the final plans will be submitted to the Minister for Finance for approval.
“I intend to seek approval for the final plans in early 2018 and, once approved, I will announce a prioritised initial tranche of schemes contained within those plans to be advanced to the more detailed project level of assessment. A new website will allow people view the flood risk (maps ) and the measures (plans ) in place, underway and that are proposed for their area or location of interest,” Minister Moran said.
Minister Moran added that while he currently has enough funding to deliver these schemes up to 2021, fully implementing the report’s recommendations would cost the state €1 billion.