Irish Water has unveiled the final route of a €950m water pipeline from the River Shannon to Dublin.
Around 500 landowners are understood to be affected and it is understood that around 80pc are expected to agree terms and conditions with Irish Water, based on the experience of Gas Networks Ireland.
Between 10pc and 20pc of land values will be paid over the next year to secure options in advance of formal planning application.
It is understood that Compulsory Purchase Orders will not be necessary in the majority of cases, but may be necessary for some 20pc of landowners unwilling to allow their land be used.
Farmers whose land is affected over the 170km of pipeline will initially be required to provide 50m of a working width which will be reduced to a permanent 20m wayleave when construction is finished.
Irish Water is launching the fourth public consultation phase on the Preferred Scheme for a New Water Supply for the Eastern and Midlands Region (WSP).
It says this will represent the first major comprehensive upgrade of ‘new source’ infrastructure in over 60 years and will meet the domestic and commercial needs of over 40% of Ireland’s population into the medium to long term future.
On 8 November 2016, Irish Water published the Final Options Appraisal Report (FOAR), which identified abstraction from the Parteen Basin in Tipperary as the Preferred Scheme for a new source of water supply for the Eastern and Midlands Region.
Alongside the FOAR, Irish Water has also published an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) Scoping Report . The EIS Scoping Report considers potential issues which may arise from the preferred scheme and describes how any impacts will be assessed.
The Preferred Scheme is abstraction from Parteen Basin, downstream of Lough Derg, with water treatment nearby at Birdhill, and treated water distributed by a pipeline through the Midlands and Eastern Region, serving communities along the route to Dublin.
According to Irish Water, this provides the greatest benefits to the widest section of the region’s population – which comprises 40pc of the Nation’s population.
The Preferred Scheme also offers the least environmental impact of all options examined and the secure and sustainable water supply it will deliver to communities along the pipeline route will facilitate economic growth throughout the region.
IFA Environment and Rural Affairs Chairman Thomas Cooney, has described proposals to pipe water from the southern part of the Shannon in County Tipperary, right across the country to south west Dublin, as “one of the most intrusive infrastructure developments to be imposed on landowners since the development of the motorway roads network over a decade ago.”
He said, “Farm families across the length of the project have attended IFA branch meetings and county executives and have rightly highlighted their concerns regarding the scale of the project and the impact it may have on their farm businesses.”
IFA has met with Ervia, which is developing the project, in recent days and has insisted that farmer concerns are understood and addressed at the forthcoming landowner consultation meetings Ervia is organising throughout the month of November.