€1.3bn Eastern and Midlands Water Supply Project

One of the single largest infrastructure projects ever to be undertaken in Ireland

After confirming the need for the project, Irish Water embarked on a four stage process to identify a suitable new source of water supply.

Extensive studies and research have been undertaken to identify and assess all possible supply options to meet the future water supply requirements of the Eastern and Midlands Region. In total ten options were identified and examined in detail.

These ten options were thoroughly assessed on a demographic, technical, geographic, environmental and economic basis, and four options were identified as suitable for further assessment, three of which were based on River Shannon/Lough Derg with the fourth being desalination.

Following further research and public consultation these four were reduced to two – Abstraction of water from Parteen Basin on the lower River Shannon, with water treatment nearby or desalination from the Irish Sea.

After further research and public consultation, the Parteen Basin option was identified as the preferred scheme because via its pipeline route to Dublin it delivers the widest benefit to the greatest number of people with the least environmental impact and in the most cost efficient manner.

Desalination would largely serve Dublin only and would not address the objectives of Irish Water’s 25-year plan to provide a high quality, long-term and sustainable supply to the Eastern and Midlands Region.

The scheme, known officially as the Eastern and Midland Water Supply Project, would involve abstracting 330Ml of water daily from the Shannon.

The project will cost €1.3bn to construct and will consist of the design and construction of a new abstraction source, a new 300Ml/d water treatment works, reservoirs and 170km of pipelines from Co. Tipperary to Dublin.

Irish Water is continuing to progress the preparation of a SID planning application to An Bord Pleanála for the WSP, including an Environmental Impact Assessment Report and Natura Impact Statement following the enactment of new Abstraction legislation.