What is the Purpose of the Open Day: The Shannon Flood Risk State Agency Co-ordination Working Group has developed and published its Work Programme for 2016. The purpose of the Open Day is to discuss this with the public and all interested organisations, to
• inform and answer any questions they have on the breadth of work taking place to manage the flood risk on the Shannon and
• provide detail on the approach to manage and co-ordinate the flood risk in the future.
There will be presentations on the Work Programme and also opportunities to meet people from each organisation represented on the Shannon Flood Risk State Agency Co-ordination Working Group.
What is the purpose of the Shannon Flood Risk State Agency Co-ordination Working Group? The Shannon Flood Risk State Agency Co-ordination Working Group was established in January 2016 by the Government to enhance on-going co-operation across all of the State Agencies involved with the River Shannon. The Working Group is:
· building on the existing work and commitment of all the State Agencies involved in flood risk
· focussed on ensuring the best possible level of co-ordination between all statutory bodies involved in flood management on the Shannon
· solutions focussed, designed to deliver the highest level of efficiencies to add value to the Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management (CFRAM) Programme.
What Have You Achieved so Far? Since the Government decision of 25th January 2016 the Group at CEO levels has been convened and met on three occasions. Our priority was to develop and publish by St. Patrick’s Day a 2016 Work Programme. We delivered this on 16th March and published it on the OPW website on that day. This sets out the roles and responsibilities of each organisation, and the flood risk management works being conducted in the areas of channel maintenance, water level regulation and flows, hydrometric monitoring and flood mapping and planning.
We have also been working with the State’s legal team to start the development of guidance for riparian owners on their roles and responsibilities.
Today is another important part of our work, to consult with the public and other interested parties on the Work Programme.
The delivery of the draft CFRAM Flood Risk Management Plans will form an important part of the next stage of our work. These are due to be published for public consideration this summer.
How has the Work of the Group Improved Co-ordination? It was clear that there was already a lot of co-operation and co-ordination between bodies, for example with maintaining water levels, in relation to environmental impact by working with the National Parks and Wildlife Service and Inland Fisheries Ireland. The Group has identified opportunities for further co-ordination, for example in the area of sharing data on forecasting by use of data from the ESB and the OPW. Plans by Local Authorities have been informed by discussion with the OPW.
The Shannon CFRAM Flood Risk Management Plans will inform future work by organisations and areas of further co-ordination.
How will the work of the Group Add Value to the Shannon Flood Risk Management Plans? The Shannon CFRAM Study has engaged with all organisations represented on the Working Group and their input is informing the measures that can address in a sustainable, environmental and cost effective manner the flood risk for the areas of significant risk within the Shannon River Catchment. Implementing the CFRAM Flood Risk Management Plans through informed discussion by the Shannon Working Group will provide the most efficient means of delivering feasible flood risk solutions for the Shannon Catchment for those areas at most significant risk and impact from flooding.
How will the Work of this Group (and the Shannon CFRAM) help reduce flooding of farm land along the Shannon? The Shannon CFRAM Study is focussed on the areas of potentially significant flood risk that were identified through an assessment of areas known to have experienced flooding in the past and areas that may be subject to significant flooding in the future. These areas are typically the cities, towns and villages where property flooding is concentrated.
The Shannon CFRAM Study is however also investigating ways in which the impact of flooding can be reduced in other areas along the Shannon. The development and implementation of the Flood Risk Management Plans is and will be facilitated through coordination with the organisations represented on the Working Group.
What are the Group’s terms of reference? Informed by the National Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management Programme and in order to further effectively manage and mitigate the flood risk on the Shannon catchment, the Group will:
• Develop and agree a Shannon Flood Risk Work Programme (with identified output KPI’s) to focus and prioritise actions and activities to manage flood risk for the Shannon catchment.
• Provide coordinated direction and guidance to ensure delivery by State agencies, to meet their statutory role, of their constituent work programme in relation to flood risk management.
• Adopt and/or develop guidelines and protocols to inform and/or assist better co-ordination and co-operation by and between State Agencies.
• Informed by an audit of roles and responsibilities in relation to flood risk management on the Shannon catchment, seek clarity on any legal and policy issues to inform its work.
• Consult with other bodies, including voluntary bodies and communities.
• Provide guidance in relation to roles and responsibilities for non-statutory bodies involved in managing flood risk on the Shannon catchment.
• When agreed, monitor and report quarterly on the implementation of the Shannon Flood Risk Management Plan (FRMP).
• Develop other structures as an efficient approach to progressing and informing its work.
Who is on the Group? The Group is comprised of the following membership which are at CEO level or equivalent and comes under the chairmanship of the Office of Public Works.
• Office of Public Works
• Local Authorities, represented by the City and County Management Association,
• Waterways Ireland
• Electricity Supply Board
• Inland Fisheries Ireland
• Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
• Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government
• Bord na Móna
• Environment Protection Agency
• Irish Water
The Attorney General’s Office and other Government Departments may also participate, as requested by the Chairman.
How many times has the Group met to date? The Group met on 1 February, 2016, on 14 March, 2016 and on 5 May, 2016.
When will the Group next meet? The next meeting of the Group is scheduled for Summer, 2016.
What did the Group discuss at its meetings? In line with its terms of reference the Group has:
• carried out an audit of the roles and responsibilities of State Agency organisations involved in flood management on the Shannon.
• produced a 2016 Work Programme which sets out the actions and activities to manage flood risk on the Shannon catchment.
• been working with the State’s legal advisers to develop over the coming months guidance for riparian owners on their rights and responsibilities.
• Making arrangements for public consultation.
Papers from the Group’s meetings and the Group’s Work programme have been published and are available from www.opw.ie.
What is contained in the Group’s 2016 Work Programme? The Group’s Work Programme for 2016 sets out for each organisation involved with flood risk on the Shannon, their:
• role and areas of responsibilities, and
• actions and activities on the Shannon catchment for 2016.
This Work Programme will be kept under review and will be updated from time-to-time. In particular the Shannon Flood Risk Management Plan being developed by the Shannon CFRAM study will inform the future work programme and the monitoring and quarterly reporting arrangements.
What is the Shannon Catchment? The Shannon catchment (River Basin District) includes the entire catchment of the River Shannon and its estuary, covering some 17,800km2 and approximately 20% of the island of Ireland. The RBD covers parts of 17 counties: Limerick, Clare, Tipperary, Offaly, Westmeath, Longford, Roscommon, Kerry, Galway, Leitrim, Cavan, Sligo, Mayo, Cork, Laois, Meath and Fermanagh.
Is the Group proposing to issue guidance to property owners on their rights and responsibilities on watercourses? The Group is working with the State’s legal advisors, the Office of the Attorney General, with a view to the development of guidance on the rights and responsibilities of property owners in relation to watercourses. It is intended that guidance will be made available later in the year in this regard.
Can I send a submission to the Group? Yes. Persons wishing to send a submission to the Group can do so by e-mailing it to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Written submissions may also be sent to:
Shannon Flood Risk State Agency Co-Ordination Working Group,
The Office of Public Works
Jonathan Swift Street
Shannon CFRAM Programme
What is the CFRAM Programme? The OPW is in the process of undertaking the Catchment-based Flood Risk Assessment and Management (CFRAM) Programme to give a clear and comprehensive picture of flood risk in areas at significant risk and impact of flooding and to set out how the risk can be managed effectively and sustainably. This is a strategic approach that recognises the need, in line with international best practice, to move to a more sustainable, planned and risk-based approach to dealing with significant flooding risks.
The CFRAM Programme is being undertaken by the OPW in partnership with its consultants, Local Authorities and other stakeholders. For the purposes of the national CFRAM Programme, the country has been divided into 6 regional study areas based on river basin districts. Engineering consultants were appointed to all six study areas during 2011 and 2012, to carry out the work. The study areas are Shannon, East, South-East, South-West, West and combined North-West/Neagh-Bann.
What is the current position on the Shannon CFRAM study?The Office of Public Works is working in partnership with their consultants, Local Authorities and other stakeholders to deliver the CFRAM Study for the Shannon River Basin District (RBD).
The Shannon RBD includes the entire catchment of the River Shannon and its estuary, covering some 17,800km2 and 20% of the island of Ireland. The RBD covers parts of 17 counties: Limerick, Clare, Tipperary, Offaly, Westmeath, Longford, Roscommon, Kerry, Galway, Leitrim, Cavan, Sligo, Mayo, Cork, Laois, Meath and Fermanagh.
The study is focussing on areas of significant flood risk and impact that were identified through an assessment of areas known to have experienced flooding in the past and areas that may be subject to significant flooding in the future. The final output from the study will be Catchment Flood Risk Management Plans, which will define the current and future flood risk in the areas of significant risk within the Shannon RBD and set out feasible measures that can address how this risk can be managed.
There are 66 locations in the Shannon River Basin District that are being assessed. Draft predictive flood maps have been produced and were the subject of 64 public consultation days between 23rd October, 2013 and 15th April 2015 and a statutory consultation during December 2015.
A further 55 Public Consultation Days on preliminary options to manage flood risk on the Shannon Catchment were held between 30th September 2015 and 11th February 2016.