Ardnacrusha - Looking to the Future
Ardnacrusha Hydro Opened in 1929, holds an iconic status in the History of Ireland.
In order to secure Ardnacrusha's Future, a Comprehensive Re-development Policy is required for the entire Shannon Catchment Region.
A thorough appraisal of the strategic effect that Ardnacrusha plays in the current life of the Shannon River, is an essential part of determining this future.
World population has more than quadrupled since the 1929 Opening and natural resources exploitation and human consumption pressures, are leading to irreversible Climate Change.
Ardnacrusha's role in electricity generation is of far less importance to the Grid.
EU Environmental Pressures to bring Ardnacrusha inline with Modern-day Environmental Standards will only increase.
So the challenge for Ardnacrusha, is to keep operating, while finding a balance between all relevant factors!
Adapting to incorporate proper environmental & fisheries protection standards, while reducing generating capacity as necessary, to achieve those aims.
Ardnacrusha Hydro, is but one of many problems facing the Shannon Catchment Region. The Administration of which is currently fragmented between a multiplicity of State Entities, often with Competing Political Agenda's and with self-interest as a core motive!
The solution to the Administrative Problem, is to treat the Shannon Catchment as a single Administrative Entity under the control of a Minister of State. In this way, the political decision-making regarding the future of the Shannon Region. reverts to a single person with overriding responsibility.
Problem areas are listed under the following headings:
Planning and Building
Future Concept Plan
Concept Headrace Fish Screens
Ardnacrusha and Parteen Fish Passes
The culture of longstanding neglect and official incompetence in the management of Shannon Fisheries, is hard to understand in this age of conservation. That so little has been done to change this culture, reflects badly on Ireland as a comparatively wealthy member of the European Union.
The Concept Fish Passes illustrated below, are intended to bring Shannon Fisheries conservation up to the latest European Standards.