Climate Change Sectoral Adaptation Plan
THE CLIMATE CHANGE SECTORAL ADAPTATION PLAN FOR FLOOD RISK MANAGEMENT
The Flood Risk Management Climate Change Sectoral Adaptation Plan has been prepared under the remit of the National Climate Change Adaptation Framework. It sets out the policy on climate change adaptation of the Office of Public Works (OPW), the lead agency for flood risk management in Ireland, based on a current understanding of the potential consequences of climate change for flooding and flood risk in Ireland, and the adaptation actions to be implemented by the OPW and other responsible Departments and agencies in the flood risk management sector.
Adapting to climate change is a key challenge facing Governments and societies across the world. Recognising this challenge, the Irish Government published the National Climate Change Adaptation Framework in December 2012, which mandates certain Government Departments, other public sector bodies and Local Authorities to prepare sectoral and local climate change adaptation plans. The OPW is responsible for preparing the Sectoral Adaptation Plan for Flood Risk Management (FRM) as the sector is generally referred to.
Climate Change and Flooding
Flooding is a natural process that can happen at any time in a wide variety of locations, but is a significant risk to people, the economy and our environment and cultural heritage. It is likely that climate change will have a significant impact on flood risk in Ireland.
- Sea level rise is already being observed and is projected to continue to rise into the future, increasing risk to our coastal communities and assets.
- It is projected that the number of heavy rainfall days per year may increase, which could lead to an increase in both fluvial and pluvial (urban storm water) flood risk.
- The projected wetter winters, particularly in the West of the country, could give rise to increased groundwater flood risk associated with turloughs.
These potential impacts could have serious consequences for Ireland, where all of the large cities are on the coast and many of the main towns are on the coast or beside rivers.
While there is considerable uncertainty associated with many aspects of the potential impacts of climate change on flood risk, it is prudent to take the potential for change into account in the development of FRM policies and strategies and the design of FRM measures.
Sectoral Adaptation Plan
The scope of the Climate Change Sectoral Adaptation Plan for Flood Risk Management includes:
- An overview of flood risk in Ireland, and of the current areas of work in the flood risk management sector.
- A review of the existing science relating to the potential impacts of climate change on flooding.
- An outline of the potential increase in flood hazard and flood risk due to climate change, drawing on the work done under the National Catchment-based Flood Risk Assessment and Management (CFRAM) Programme.
- A review of adaptation approaches and policies
- A policy and set of actions for climate change adaptation to be pursued and applied by the OPW and other responsible Depts. / agencies in the development of flood risk management strategies and measures.
The Plan is high-level and sets a policy and framework along with further actions for research and assessment, and does not specify particular physical interventions. Detailed adaptation measures, to a specified programme, will be set out in the Flood Risk Management Plans (FRMPs) developed under the CFRAM Programme (www.cfram.ie ).
View or download the Climate Change Sectoral Adaptation Plan for Flood Risk Management.