Bogwater - opening the floodgates...

…sort of.

I’ve been listening to a discussion about this on PK this morning, Bord na Mona planning an eco park and reservoir at Garryhinch on the Laois/Offaly border to supply water to ten counties. I’ll put up a link later. But it’s one to keep an eye on, I think.

A great idea. The level of abstraction from the Shannon will be insignificant and the project will ensure that the environment of the upper catchment is protected.

but but… Mary O’Rourke described it as the “rape of the Shannon” - those Lenihans would never tell a lie?

I think so too, though I haven’t read into the technical aspects of what it will mean for the Shannon. For Garryhinch, it could be an incredible boost to a dull area. If Bord na Móna make the success of it that they did in Boora, it will be a terrific resource for the public. I can’t understand how either during or since the work done at Poulaphouca, a tourist walk hasn’t been developed. I know the Blessington side of the lake is not suitable (because of the height and the fact that there’s a dump there and a housing estate built right up to the lakeshore), but it should have been possible in sixty years to develop an amenity there - in the real, not local authority sense of the word.

Boora is stunning, as a nature reserve, an aesthetic experience with the natural scenery and Sculpture in the Parklands as a place to walk, hike or cycle. There proposal for Garryhinch is also to develop watersports.

The Shannon Protection Alliance gave a very poor account of themselves with PK this morning.

Agreed, something like an high standard canoe course could be included & you then raise the possibility of attracting a major championship.

Of course the vegetables on the CC & the vested interests would rather discuss the mythical Chinese Industrial city to be built in the region :angry:

Garyhinch is a hole so might as well fill it with water.
More details on the plan need to be teased out. I’m not sure I’d like a soon to be privatised company holding Dublin to ransom via control of the watersupply.

As opposed to the current shower of fuckwits who can’t even manage to supply Dublin with water if there are a few cracked pipes … ???

I hear what you’re saying alright; but at this stage you really have to ask if the company could be much worse !

Put the two operators ( Private & Public ) in competition with each other & see who the consumers choose.

Some figures.

Vartry supplies 80’000m3/day of water to Dublin. That’s 0.926m3/s or 926 litres per second.

Ballymore Eustace/Poulaphuca supplies 250’000 m3/day, or 2.893m3/s. By using a reservoir to hold water from times of heavy rainfall the abstraction of water for Dublin has a minimal impact on the River Liffey. What f*cks up the Liffey is the fact that there is such a massive discrepancy between the compensation flow from the dam (1.5m3/s) and the electricity generating flow (30m3/s), but that’s a different issue.

The proposal is to take water from the Shannon at Loch Derg. The mean outflow from Loch Derg at Kilaloe is 180m3/s and even in the driest of droughts (the 99%ile) it doesn’t go below about 15m3/s. That drought flow might occur once in every 30 years, but it’s completely immaterial anyway. Even taking all the current Dublin supply from the Shannon (5m3/s) would have absolutely no impact on the River Shannon. All the water from the Shannon still flows into the lake, it’s just that an unnoticably small amount is being removed before it goes through the turbines at Ardnacrusha. And by building a reservoir in the bog it means that during droughts the reservoir can be run down instead of impacting on the drought flow at the outlet of the lake.

And the benefit to the Shannon? It means that there will be a real effort to protect the water quality in the catchment. I’m actually surprised they don’t take the water from Loch Ree where the water quality is higher, but it’s better for the ecology of the river that the water is abstracted further downstream.

Good info thanks. I didn’t realise the Liffey hydro is so paltry … less than 40 MW in total.

As well as a reservoir for drought times, does this new development also provide an additional spillway for flood times, rather than being forced to send water downstream in an emergency.

No. The Shannon floods are massive (>1000m3/s at Kilaloe as far as I know) so the abstraction for the reservoir would be insignificant in that regard.

With regards hydroelectricity at Poulaphuca, typically it generates electricity 10-15% of the time. A smaller turbine generating for more of the time would reduce the ecological damage downstream. Probably deserves a thread of it’s own.

[*“An Act of Vandalism” * (, - Mary O’Rourke.

:slight_smile: Brilliant. Some day she’ll read about the Parteen Weir and Ardnacrusha and she’ll be amazed at the wonder of it all.

Some day she’ll read about Darwin and genetic dead-ends and wonder at that too…

Lots of information about the project.

Of course the turbine on the Shannon has its own problems. Like killing the fish.

The floods are a separate issue, though. The problems there are to do with management of the Callows and appalling drainage - problems the locals say have gotten steadily worse over the decades since the Board of Works became a different machine entirely.

I’ll root out some stuff on that tomorrow.

My recollection from this morning is that the water is coming from Lough Ree or north of it… I’ll check that out in the am too.

I’d be very surprised it that’s true. There’s no shortage of simple methods of keeping fish away from Hydroelectric turbines, but I’d imagine that with a scheme like Ardnacrusha they would have a Fish guidance system/Bio Acoustic Fence to stop fish from going down the head race. They probably have screens as well, but I’d imagine they’re more for keeping debris out.

The other problem for fish at hydroelectric turbines is that when migrating they can waste time at the out flow of the turbines instead of going up the river channel. But again that’s easily avoided.

I have that from a fisherman, but it should be easily checked. Another job for tomorrow.

There is an environmental concern that I would have this scheme. Hopefully the experience of the Ballymore Eustace Anglers won’t be repeated. I assume the water won’t be treated at Loch Derg simply because they won’t be able to use water to flush away the aluminium sludge downstream. It would just settle in the lake. At Ballymore the sludge was flushed into the river and the ESB’s power generating floods were relied on to carry the problem further downstream, but with the construction of the new treatment plant the problem is solved (as far as I know).

If the treatment plant for this scheme is located somewhere in the bog it would be essential that a proper sludge treatment plant is installed and that all discharges to whatever local streams are closely monitored.

Here’s a strange coincidence!

!n the dying hour of the Fianna Fail government Conor Lenihan (Mary O’Rourke’s nephew) granted licenses for the exploration of gas in the Lough Allen basin. The proposed method of releasing the natural gas from the shale rock involves ‘fracting’, a process of detonating explosives deep under ground and injecting chemicals into the shattered rock. This process has been linked with serious environmental damage and the contamination of drinking water.

Mary O’Rourke is no dope, and for her to talk so vehemently against the Shannon drinking water project (with such an obvious bullshit argument) suggests to me that there must be something else at play here. If the Shannon water supply project proceeds it is likely that the Gas exploration wouldn’t be viable because of the risk of contaminating Dublin’s drinking supply.

[*“An Act of Vandalism” * (, - Mary O’Rourke.