Dublin faces supply crisis within ten years unless Shannon project gets green light

Dublin and the Irish midlands will effectively "run out of water" within a decade unless a new supply from the River Shannon is developed, Irish Water has insisted.

The water firm's managing director, Jerry Grant, has told the Dáil Housing Committee that currently some 40% of the River Liffey was abstracted to provide drinking water for the capital but this was not a sustainable solution for the medium to long term.

Irish Water has begun consulting on a water supply project involving a planned new pipeline from the River Shannon involving the abstraction 330 million litres of water a day from the Parteen Basin. The scheme has a price-tag of €1.2 billion.

Grant said work on the environmental impact assessment of the finalised pipeline route is just getting underway. A planning application would be made by the end of the year, he said, with a Bord Pleanála oral hearing on the project expected in 2019. Construction of the scheme is currently anticipated between 2021 and 2024.