Can Ireland’s Flooding be Controlled?
Now that the waters have receded in most areas, now is the time to act to prevent such devastation occurring again. The government has pulled together its River Shannon Flood Risk Co-ordination group to compile a comprehensive plan to avert similar flooding in the future and to mitigate potential damage.
Many have called for the dredging of the Shannon as a way to prevent future flooding, but we contend that this is not the simple solution some believe it might be. We urge the adoption of a more holistic approach, which has been done in The Netherlands. The Dutch have always faced the threat of flooding since a large portion of their country lies below sea level. However, instead of investing further in dykes, dredging and other hard engineering solutions, they have developed their programme, Room for the River, which looks to live with the water rather than constantly fighting it and losing.
With climate change, our weather patterns will become more extreme with many of our western and northern areas feeling the brunt of increasing storms. The River Shannon and other rivers throughout Ireland will continue to flood and we need to be prepared.
The Environmental Pillar has developed its 20 Ways to cope with flooding. I hope the new government group studying the River Shannon will take these suggestions on board.