Drought is not a reason to build costly Shannon – Dublin water pipeline across Irish farmland, warns ICSA

‘Fix the leaks in the existing system instead of jeopardising the livelihoods of the estimated 500 farmers along the proposed route.’

Sligo News File.

The ICSA has warned Irish Water not to use the current dry weather as an excuse to force a pipeline from the River Shannon to Dublin across Irish farmland.

Seamus Sherlock, chairman ICSA Rural Development Committee.

Irish Water published the route of the controversial development in 2016, announcing as well that the project would cost the people a phenomenal €1.2 billion.

The company has repeatedly insisted that drawing water from the Shannon is the only solution to the threat of drought and taps running dry in Dublin. It’s reckoned that population and economic growth in the serviced region will generate a demand for an additional 330 million litres of water per day by 2050. 

However, the plan is being strongly opposed not least by the ICSA whose rural development chairman Seamus Sherlock has said the present water restrictions in the Capital are in place because of leaks in the existing infrastructure.

It’s estimated that nearly 60%% of Dublin’s water supply is lost through holes in the city’s pipelines.

“There is no justification for anything other than fixing those leaks and certainly no valid case for jeopardising the livelihoods of the estimated 500 farmers along the proposed route” said Sherlock.

He added that “it makes sense to fix the current problems with the pipe network and then reassess the situation. Only then will we have certainty around future water requirements and alternatives to building a cross-country pipeline costing over one billion euros can be considered.


“What makes no sense is to pipe water half way across the country for it to leak back into the groundwater through faulty pipes,” he said.