IFA Floods Project Team Chairperson, Michael Silke has said that the announcement by the Minister with responsibility for the OPW, Brian Hayes, to lower the levels of the Shannon by 4 inches (100 mm) is a step in the right direction.
Speaking following a meeting with the OPW in Athlone last week, Mr Silke said that the main problem with the River Shannon over the past number of years has been the recurrence of summer flooding, which has had a devastating impact on farming in the Shannon callows.
“The fact that a number of bodies have a say on the levels in the Shannon such as ESB and Waterways Ireland has led to a situation where water levels were kept artificially high and when heavy rain occurred in summer this has led to serious flooding,” he said.
The IFA Floods Project Chairman acknowledged the OPW efforts in securing this reduction, mainly with ESB, but he said more needs to be done.
“IFA has pointed out that water levels at the Athlone weir need to be lowered thus releasing water in advance of heavy rainfall. We will be monitoring the impact of this reduction and will continue to press for further action so as to reduce the incidence of flooding,” he added.