Irish Water has commenced a three month public consultation on the draft which sets out the options for providing a more secure, reliable and sustainable water supply for 2.5 million customers in this region over the next 25 years.
Irish Water’s National Water Resources Plan will be the first resources plan for entire public water supply in Ireland. The National Plan will identify the needs across existing supplies and the challenges and opportunities to be faced over the coming years including, legislation, climate change, the environment, growth and economic development.
The National plan will allow us to understand the actions and activities required to transform our water supplies in order to provide a safe, secure, reliable, and sustainable water supply for our current and future customers. The National Plan will also provide a transparent roadmap for how Irish Water will plan for its water assets in order to align with national policy.
Given that this is Ireland’s first water resources plan and the scale of the area to be covered, the National Plan is being rolled out in two phases. Following the adoption of the National Plan-Framework Plan (the Framework Plan ) in the summer of 2021 Irish Water is now moving to phase two of the National Plan.
Each Regional Plan will be subject to its own consultation and, once adopted, all of the Regional Plans and the Framework Plan will be treated as a unified National Plan. The first regional plan to be developed is the draft Regional Plan
There are 201 Water Treatment Plants (WTPs ) in the Eastern and Midlands Region, which collectively serve 2.48 million people or 60 percent of the population of Ireland, via approximately 19,000 kilometres of distribution network and 134 Water Resource Zones.
These treatment plants also serve 76,000 businesses. The region itself covers approximately 20,900 square kilometres extending from the Shannon Estuary in the south west, towards the large River Boyne catchment and Greater Dublin Area (GDA ) in the north east.
The development of the draft plan will allow Irish Water to review water supply needs collectively across the entire Eastern and Midlands Region covering a broad spectrum of risk including quality, quantity, reliability and sustainability. It will allow us to consider local options to resolve these needs and larger regional options that can address multiple supplies. The preferred options from the draft plan include:
Reducing the number of Water Resource Zones (WRZ ) in the Eastern and Midlands Region from 134 to 93 and developing larger interconnected WRZs for the urban areas in the region. This will allow a move away from a fragmented supply, with large variations in levels of service, to an interconnected supply with better outcomes for all water users.
Upgrades to 136 existing water treatment plants, in terms of quantity and quality performance.
Development of four new water treatment plants (WTPs ).
Proposed decommissioning 66 WTPs.
Interconnecting 50 supplies via 860 kilometres of trunk mains.
Reducing leakage from the current level of 38% of regional demand to less than 22% of regional demand by 2033. This represents a 45% reduction in leakage from 2019 to 2034. This will be achieved through find and fix, pressure management, active leakage control and asset replacement.
Irish Water are now seeking feedback on the public consultation for the draft RWRP: EM and associated SEA Environmental Report and Natura Impact Statement, the documents are available to view on our website at www.water.ie/rwrp/easternmidlands A thirteen-week statutory public consultation will run from the 14 December 2021 to 14 March 2022.
Submissions can be made by post or email by March 14 2022 via email at [email protected] or via post to ?National Water Resources Plan, Irish Water, PO Box 13216,?Glenageary, Co. Dublin.