KILDARE is expected to be a major beneficiary of a proposed water project by Dublin City Council, writes Henry Bauress.
The City Council is expected to seek planning permission next month for 1,400 acres water reservoir at Garryhinch, Portarlington, aimed at bringing water from the Shannon region to the east of the country.
A contract price of €426m has been put on the project aimed at securing supplies to Dublin, Kildare, Meath and Wicklow.
The project will also include an ecopark, based on a UK plan, anticipated to lead to 130 permanent jobs.
The reservoir would involve a thousand jobs in the construction phase.
A recent survey by the NUI Maynooth’s All Ireland Reserve Laboratory, found that in 2010 Kildare had lost 28.59% of its treated water in the piping system in 2010, a good record compared to a State average of 42% - it was fourth best in the country - but not so good when compared to a 15% for developed countries as a whole, as reported by the World Bank.
The loss had worsened slightly since 2008, when it was 26.37%.
When, in 2010, Kildare County councilors heard detail of the county’s share of the national Water Services Investment Programme (WIP) which runs from now to 2012, they were told that contract prices for such projects could be 15-20% lower than they were at the peak of the building boom.
The WIP signaled upgrades for Osberstown Waste Water Treatment Plant upgrade (€22m), and Lower Liffey Valley Waste Water Treatment Plant Upgrade (€17.5) as well as work on the Barrow Abstraction project towards the end of 2012.
In mid 2011, the Council agreed to discount levies for developments that will help reduce the demand for treated water supplies.
Independent councillors, Pádraig McEvoy, Paddy Kennedy, Seamie Moore and Anthony Larkin tabled a proposal, following engineering advice, which predicted that clean water supplies will incur more interruptions unless there is widespread shift towards water conservation measures. Cllr Seamie Moore highlighted Kildare’s water scenario at the time when he said the county has depended on regional water treatment plants for around 94% of the water demand and the supply budget runs to around €11.5m annually.Anticipating the Garryhingh project, he said: “We are told that it will take several years of capital investment to extend supplies and that this will probably include a €500m scheme to deliver water from the Shannon River. Even then, without measures to reduce wasteful habits, the calculations suggest supplies will eventually run low again.”