Tuesday, 28 June 2016
Department of Public Expenditure and Reform
Flood Relief Schemes Status
331. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the status of the development of the flood relief measures at Thomastown, Graignamanagh and Inistioge in County Kilkenny; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17986/16]
Kilkenny County Council (KCC), with funding from the Office of Public Works (OPW) has procured consultants to carry out a pilot project on improving flood resilience in Thomastown and Graiguenamanagh. The study aims to investigate how a community based response to flood events can be facilitated by improving the resilience and preparedness of the local community to deal with flood events and involves surveying properties to assess the potential for appropriate individual property protection (IPP) options for the community.
Inistioge is not included in the pilot study but additional survey work is to be carried out by the consultants in the town during the period of the study in order to gather data on the flood event of December 2015. This will help to inform the development of all possible feasible flood defence options for Inistioge which along with Thomastown, Graiguenamanagh is an ongoing part of the Catchment Flood Risk and Management (CFRAM) process.
The CFRAM process is the core strategy for addressing the significant flood risks nationally. Thomastown, Graiguenamanagh and Inistioge are three of 40 Areas for Further Assessment (AFA’s) in the South East River Basin District being assessed under the South East CFRAM study. The Programme, which is being undertaken by engineering consultants on behalf of the OPW working in partnership with the local authorities, involves the production of predictive flood mapping for each location, the development of preliminary flood risk management options and the production of flood risk management plans.
Under the South East CFRAM Study, draft predictive flood maps have been produced and were the subject of Public Consultation Days in Graiguenamanagh and Inistioge on 3rd March, 2015 and in Thomastown on 23rd March, 2015. In addition, Public Consultation Days were held in Graiguenamanagh and Inistioge on 1st March, 2016 and in Thomastown on 29th February, 2016 to present and discuss preliminary options to manage the assessed flood risks in these AFAs. The draft maps are now being finalised following the conclusion of the national statutory public consultation process on 23rd December, 2015.
Following the finalisation of the flood mapping and the identification of preliminary flood risk management options, the final output from this important project will be integrated Flood Risk Management Plans containing specific measures that can address in a comprehensive and sustainable way the significant flood risks identified along the South East River Basin District. The draft Plans will include a prioritised list of measures to address flood risk in an environmentally sustainable and cost effective manner. These Plans will be available for public consultation later in 2016.
The Government recently announced increased levels of investment in the area of flood relief as part of the overall Capital Investment Plan 2016-2021 and this investment programme will allow for consideration of measures arising from the Plans.