Waterways Ireland: Water Management / Pumping Strategy

In 2019 annual report the CEO notes the “Preparation of a water management strategy was informed by anticipated changes in proposed new Water Abstraction legislation”

Pre AIE: request copy of Waterways Ireland water management strategy, including any submissions related to water abstraction and/or pumping stations


Waterways Ireland manages assets which were valued at almost €1 billion. This valuation represents the cost of rebuilding the infrastructure which passes through high value habitats and contributes in many ways to their physical surroundings, water management, local communities and the national economy.

The inland waterways support ecological biodiversity. 80% of its landholdings are within a European designated site and the green infrastructure of the waterways provide vital ecosystem services.

The Body continues to work closely with Irish Water and Westmeath County Council regarding water pumping for the Royal Canal. Lough Owel, the primary water source for the Royal Canal, is also a source for mains drinking water and the bodies work together to balance all of the interests.

The Body responded to the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government regarding proposed water abstraction licensing which as proposed at consultation could jeopardise traditional water supplies for the inland waterways network. (2018 Annual Report)

Work with the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government to secure existing navigation water supplies in light of new Abstractions Legislation being proposed. Waterways Ireland continued to engage with the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government on the Water Abstraction Bill for the protection and fulfilment of the statutory undertaking for which Waterways Ireland was established under the British Irish Agreement Act, 1999. It is essential that the proposed Water Extraction Bill give special recognition to Waterway Irelands position given our organisations remit and range of activities. (2019 Annual Report)

Pump locations (not comprehensive list)

Richmond Harbour on the Royal Canal has a pump delivering 225 l/s from the Cramlin River

The Grand Canal is supplied with water from the River Brosna into Shannon Harbour over locks 35-36

Pump delivers water from Lough Allen across Drumshanbo and Drumleague Locks to maintain water levels for navigation on the Lough Allen canal

Pumping station at locks 16-18 on the Grand Canal

Leave a Reply