Sunday 22 July 2018

Foresight over flood prevention could reduce toll of €1bn drain on resources

New defences are not the only answer in the fight against flooding, writes Colm McCarthy

Extra capital spending will never eliminate flood damage and the schemes announced last week will take many years to implement. Photo: PA
Extra capital spending will never eliminate flood damage and the schemes announced last week will take many years to implement. Photo: PA
Colm McCarthy

Colm McCarthy

Thursday's announcement that the Government plans to spend €1bn on flood defence over the next decade follows a comprehensive assessment by the Office of Public Works of flood risks and the possible ameliorative measures.

Until fairly recently, expenditure on capital works ran at about €30m per annum. The increase to about €100m is already under way and reflects the perception that flood risks have increased and that extra public capital can usefully be devoted to mitigating future damage.

Claims on property insurers have also been rising and climate change is forecast to increase the frequency of extreme weather events.

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