What’s happening in 2018 for South Galway Flooding?

I’ve had many people ask the same question over the XMAS break – What’s happening with the floods in South Galway? So I’ve given an outline below on what’s happening.  A quick recap to date  :

  • The design Project Design Brief was released in August and the project put out to tender.
  • 19th Sept 2017 : The results of consultant selection slected ryanhanley as the engineering design consultant
  • 13th-Dec 2017 : The design consultants,  Ryanhanley,  signed the contract to commence project.



What is the flood relief scheme?

The goal of the South Galway -Gort Lowlands project is to deliver a flood relief solution for South Galway – from Slieve Aughty Mountains to the sea.


How will this be delivered?

The project will go through 5 stages as outlined below?

Stage 1 Feasibility Study and Preparation of a local Flood Risk Management Plan and General Scheme Development
Stage 2 Public Exhibition/Consultation
Stage 3 Detailed Design & Confirmation
Stage 4 Construction Stage
Stage 5 Handover of Works and Closeout

Where are we in the process?

As of 13th December 2017, the engineering design consultants (RyanHanley) signed the contract and the project design has officially commenced.  The following diagram shows where we are in the process  and the main stakeholders. (The grey boxes show what has been completed to date)


The project brief indicates contractual timelines from time of project commencement . There are approx:

*Approx duration as there are approval gates between many of these stages


What is this going to cost?

The correct answer is ‘We won’t know until the solutions are assessed’  – We hear figures of €48 million (from last analysis ) and €10 million recently in Connaught Tribune However- If we are to believe the process –  These numbers are pie-in-the-sky until we understand the real cost and frequency of flooding and proposals for solutions to this – until then – there should be no numbers considered.  The focus should remain on getting  the right solution and then we can argue about the cost-benefit! What we don’t want is a provisional financial constraint that starts to immediately impact our solution.

What happens in 2018?

2018 is really all about Stage #1 — Deep dive analysis with some high-level solutions in the form of a flood risk management plan :

  • Draft Hydrology Report
  • Flood Hazard Maps
  • Feasibility report
  • Draft Final Reports
  • Draft Flood Risk Management Plan
  • Steering Group Meeting
  • Communications Plan
  • Website

Here are the key deliverables and their expected timeframes:


So 2018 is really just the starting of the design process – getting all the data in place and some high-level solution options and overall flood risk management plan

At least from the contract signing there is now a fixed timeline in place and we and other stakeholders are very keen to ensure that we monitor progress against these plans

What happens in the meantime if we get flooding?

Galway County Council are currently preparing a ‘South Galway Flood Emergency Response Plan’ – a draft was issued in Nov 2017.  The main goal of the plan is that if South Galway does see itself in the middle of a flooding crisis, our community should expect a co-ordinated and well managed response – rather than the chaos of the past.

Essentially, it takes lessons learned from last flood experience, clarifies emergency criteria and will provide guidelines for flood risk managagement of each key area affected. This will be due for completion by the end of Januray.  The plan should identify the areas and homes at risk, mitigation measures for home protection and access and be able to provide resources – from sandbags to pumps to portaloos.

South Galway Flood Relief Committee met with Galway County Council and Cllr Joe Byrne for an inital review of this proposal and we were happy that there was good progress being made here and will await final plan in the coming weeks.

-David Murray



Author: David Murray

Dave is a 'Solution Architect' with a hi-tech company called Arm. He is deeply involved in his community and his two key focuses are based around the rivers of South Galway. He is an activist in getting flood relief solutions in place for South Galway after decades of empty promises and also is also helping to progress a beautiful Gort River Walk for the South Galway/North Clare communities.

2 thoughts on “What’s happening in 2018 for South Galway Flooding?”

  1. Dear David, Thank you for this and other material you have posted in relation to the south Galway flooding issue, not least the maps which are first class. We have at least 9 group water schemes within the delineated area, so this is an issue of particular interest to the rural water sector. Would you consider writing an article for our quarterly magazine, Rural Water News, highlighting some of the bottlenecks that are contributing to the flooding issue? I’d also be interested in a raw water monitoring project within the affected zones to see to what extent flooding contaminates the raw water supply. I remember in the mid 1990s Ardrahan’s borehole was contaminated as a result of houses being constructed in the floodplain and the contents of septic tanks being suck into the aquifer. Mind you, I asked the Tierneevin people to conduct some raw water sampling during severe flooding early last year (or was it the year before?) and their raw water quality hadn’t altered much, if at all … which seems strange. Anyway, I’d really love to carry an illustrated piece from you in the magazine. You can get back issues on our website (www.nfgws.ie). All the best Brian MacDonald Research & Evaluation Officer National Federation of Group Water Schemes Old Cross Square Monaghan

    087-2028051 042-9742228

    Liked by 1 person

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