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Proposal to pipe water from Shannon to boost supplies

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A proposal to transform the water supply for more than half Ireland’s population has begun.
The three-month consultation will be on how Irish Water intends to supply homes and businesses in its eastern and midlands region, including piping water from the Shannon to the east coast.
The draft Regional Water Resources Plan: Eastern and Midlands is the largest of four such plans being drawn up by the water company.
It covers an area from Arklow, in County Wicklow, to Ennis in County Clare, and from Newcastle West in County Limerick to Clogherhead in County Louth, taking in 134 separate water supplies and catering for 2.5 million people.
Irish Water said the plan, when delivered, would provide “nothing less than a strategic transformation” to a more resilient and sustainable interconnected supply, for 60% of the population.
The aim of the plan is to support growth and economic development across the region and reduce leakage from an existing level of 38% to 22%.
Angela Ryan, water resource strategy specialist for Irish Water, said the draft plan would allow Irish Water for the first time to review water supply needs collectively across the entire eastern and midlands region, covering a broad spectrum of risk including quality, quantity, reliability and sustainability.
She said it would assist growth and economic development; improve interconnectivity between supplies, and add “new sustainable water sources that are adaptable to climate change such as the New Shannon Source”.