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Largest Ever Study of Flood Risk in Ireland

In 2012, the OPW identified 300 areas or communities believed to be at significant flood risk, of which 90 are coastal. The OPW, through its Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management (CFRAM) Programme, carried out the largest ever flood risk study in Ireland to date, undertaking a detailed engineering assessment of these communities. This study assessed 80% of properties at risk from Ireland’s main causes of flooding and was informed by public consultation at each stage.

The key outputs of the CFRAM Programme are:

  • 40,000 Flood Maps showing the flood risk for 300 communities that support planning decisions and emergency response.
  • 29 Flood Risk Management Plans to cover the whole country, with the proposed flood relief measures - informed by costs, benefits and environmental factors - to address the flood risk in each community and nationwide.

Building on Investment to Date

The OPW has been delivering a programme of flood relief schemes since 1995, providing protection to thousands of properties. The Plans now provide the outline of 118 new proposed schemes to protect a further 11,500 properties and provide the evidence to prioritise the delivery of future Government investment to where its benefit is greatest.

While structural flood relief schemes are in place for specific communities, other measures such as emergency response and planning guidelines benefit all at risk properties.

The Government has committed almost €1bn to flood relief measures as part of the National Development Plan 2018-2027.

Importance of Other Measures

The Plans also include proposed flood policy measures that can benefit all at risk properties, including those properties where structural measures are not feasible or those that were not assessed in the CFRAM Programme.

Programme of Investment 2018-2027

The Government has committed almost €1bn to flood relief measures as part of the National Development Plan 2018-2027.

The OPW has completed 43 flood relief schemes which, in addition to other flood relief works undertaken by local authorities under their own works programmes, are protecting in the region of 9,500 properties. These completed schemes are also providing an economic benefit to the State in damages and losses avoided estimated at €1.9 billion. A further 12 schemes are under construction with 23 at design and planning stages. These together with other major works programmes by Local Authorities will protect 12,000 properties approximately.

In addition, the OPW will continue to provide Minor Works funding to Local Authorities for local flooding solutions. Almost 530 projects have been delivered so far, providing local flooding solutions to almost 6,800 properties.

The Flood Plans provide the outline of 118 new proposed schemes to protect a further 11,500 properties at risk of flooding. The OPW is working closely with the Local Authorities to commence the implementation of a first tranche of new schemes that have been prioritised, including on a regionalised basis. This first tranche includes 5 major schemes each costing more than €15 million, along with a range of mid-sized and smaller schemes.

Report on Policy

The OPW has prepared a report Implementing the National Flood Risk Policy that sets out how flood risk policy is being implemented in Ireland and provides a summary of the measures in place and proposed to address Ireland’s flood risk.

View Full Report (PDF)

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