RIVER SHANNON FLOODING
Understanding the problem
A catastrophic Shannon flooding event is a disaster waiting to happen and poses an unacceptable risk to life.
It is entirely predictable......... So who will be held to account when the tragedy finally happens?
POLITICIANS - YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
We are all aware that climate change is leading to extreme weather patterns. So an extreme rainfall event on the Shannon Catchment can no longer be passed off as something extraordinary. When the event happens, the Parteen Weir will be subject to extreme water pressure, endangering it's structural integrity. To prevent structural failure of the Weir, it will be necessary to release floodwater in potentially vast amounts. Devastating flooding of Limerick will ensue. Serious loss of life is the inevitable consequence!
The Ardnacrusha/Parteen bottleneck is at the core of the flooding problem, as indicated in the Graphic Presentation below.
A Shannon Flood Risk State Agency Co-ordination Working Group has been established to try to co-ordinate the various Agencies involved. But costly and often ineffective Minor Flood Mitigation Works, do not provide an overall solution to the flooding problem.
These Works, if carried out at all, should be part of an overall comprehensive plan!
They can also be counterproductive....!
For example: Clearing parts of the River Channel in the vicinity of the Shannon Callows and Meelick Weir with bucket dredgers is an ineffective and, financially wasteful way of carrying out dredging works.
A far more effective way is to use suction dredgers where these are appropriate. (ie. A 140 tonne CSD500 dredger has a capacity of 4000 m3/hour ).
Uncoordinated mitigation works may also have the effect of creating an increased speed of Shannon River "run off".
Until the capacity limitations of the Ardnacrusha/Parteen bottleneck are resolved, the catastrophic flood risk to Limerick City will remain. Diverting flood water directly to the Shannon Estuary is the obvious solution!