Winter water levels and more Flood-Relief delays leave South Galway exposed

If we remember – ‘Diggers on the Ground in 2020’ was the mantra at the start of this scheme – not ‘Yet another flooding report in 2020’

As we approach the end of Autumn,  the signs are not looking the best.   While we escaped Storm Lorenzo relatively unscathed, the reality is that our autumn rains have removed any potential buffers to mitigate flooding over the winter

  • August Rain has been 2 1/2 times the average
  • September rainfall has been almost 2 times the average

Our Turloughs are at winter levels already.   With the reduction in the turlough buffer capacity, we now have a very high potential for flooding this upcoming winter

 

southgalwayrainfall
The cumulative rainfall for the year – all was normal til July but August-Sept rainfally has filled the basins of South Galway to winter levels
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Coole Lake rising to toward the water pump – Winter levels

More Project Delays

We met up with Minister Moran on the driest day of the year on Friday 12th July this year to indicate the frustration of the local community to over 1 year’s delay in the 1st phase of the South Galway- Gort Lowlands Flood Relief Project – the project Feasibility study . This is what determines if we are really going to do something about the project or if it’s just going spit out yet another flooding report (Daly report, OPW reports and Jennings and O’ Donovan report) .

The Minister acknowledge the frustration on the delays as follows:

[Minister Moran] acknowledged the frustration of the delays but recommended the SGFRC to wait (even though its hard) and that November is not that far away but let the project run its course.  He did state (to OPW reps) that he wants to see the reports, with positive news before the Christmas. – SGFRC Meeting July 2019

In recent communications with Galway County Council, SGFRC was informed that rather than the Feasibility ending in November/December as was supposed to (already 1 year behind) – it was indicated that a further delay was pending  from 4-6 months!  Which usually means 6 months!  To be told 6 weeks before a deadline is due that it will now be 6 months is ridiculous.

SGFRC was well aware of the complexities of the project and some of the main delays were getting the right  analysis platform and model in place in this unique situation dictated by the underground geology of South Galway.

Reasons

We are not clear on the reasons so we have asked for further clarification on the delays. We know that the delay of 1 year was due to getting an accurate computer models of the topology and underground channel estimates, as well as additional work from the Public consultation process (Forestry analysis and salinity analysis)

This means that the delay is more than likely in the solution exploration. This is where you trial different sizes of channels, culverts etc, to maintain recommended maximum levels of the Turloughs (ones that don’t threaten flooding or isolation on our communities).  This could be minor tweaking or exploration of different routes, etc.   The worrying thing here is that if this is what is indeed delaying the project then it probably means that the solution is not coming easy – This may be because of cost-benefit or environmental constraints – which have always been risk factors in this project – Which will dictate if what we get is a solution or yet another report.

Response

We informed (via email) our Ministers and elected representatives on this over 2 weeks ago – That’s directly to Minister Moran, and copied to Minister Cannon, Minister Canney and Deputy Rabbitte – To date, only Minister Canney has acknowledged this crisis and offered his support –  As Minister Cannon and Deputy Rabbitte were copied – we would have expected at least an acknowledgement and support in some form a 6 month delay is a major setback to the project and a harsh blow giving the circumstances with our Turloughs already at Winter levels.

 

We expected a response directly from Minister Moran, who is directly responsible for OPW and Flood Relief –  but no response has been forthcoming on the matter.

Clarity

Galway County Council are due to meet with SGFRC in early November to get a snapshot of where we are, reason for the delays, outlook for the project.  We then intend to host a public meeting on the 28th November 2019 @8pm in Sullivans Hotel , Gort to highlight the situation to South Galway Communities.

Credibility is rapidly diminishing on this project – If we remember – ‘Diggers on the Ground in 2020’ was the mantra at the start of this scheme and now it’s looking more likely that the only thing delivered in 2020 will be yet another report. This is disastrous for South Galway which will more than likely suffer yet another flooding crisis this winter.”

Please support (please like, share, comment, attend!)  – Remember – It’s up to everybody to demand resolution for this project and push for timely solutions – not delays or reports.

Thank you,

David Murray

Chair : South Galway Flood Relief Committee

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.

4 thoughts on “Winter water levels and more Flood-Relief delays leave South Galway exposed”

  1. Thanks, Dave, Assume you have sent to Ronnie& De lan Varley and the Connacht Trib & Clare

    Papers? Closing concert in Thoor Ballylee on Saturday week —Oct. 29th— Máirtín O Connor, Garry O Briain and Mary McPartlan. Come if you can! Lelia

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  2. Dave Thanks again for your update. Without your tremendous work we are totally in the dark as to what is going on . No doubt our public representatives will copy and paste your post in the next few weeks. Its all very well for Minister Moran to advise the SGFRC to wait and let the project run its course . He does not have to watch the rising flood waters every day he gets up. Minister Moran should be doing his job ensuring that important projects like this South Galway Flood project be completed within a specified timeframe but unfortunately this is not the case Already a year behind schedule it appears that they can now extend and extend. no explanation as to why the project is delayed once more. To be honest I am convinced they simply do not have the expertise to do the job they agreed to do because if they did it a solution would have been forthcoming before now. The frustrating part is we can do absolutely nothing about it only sit and wait for our homes, our farms, our roads to be flooded and our community to be isolated again . Our public representatives should have been be putting down parliamentry questions in Dail Eireann on a monthly basis for the past two years requesting updates but no doubt they will get very interested when we are up to our necks in water in the coming months.

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