Arterial Drainage Schemes
The OPW carried out a number of arterial drainage schemes on catchments under the Arterial Drainage Act, 1945, and flood defence schemes under the Arterial Drainage (Amendment) Act, 1995. Under section 37 of the 1945 Act, the OPW is required to maintain drainage works in proper repair and effective condition. This work is organised on a regional basis, with regional offices in Mungret, Co. Limerick, Headford Co. Galway and Trim, Co. Meath.
Arterial Drainage Schemes were carried out under the Arterial Drainage Act, 1945 to improve land for agriculture and to mitigate flooding. Rivers, lakes weirs and bridges were modified to enhance conveyance, embankments were built to control the movement of flood water and various other work was carried out under Part II of the Arterial Drainage Act, 1945. The purpose of the schemes was to improve land for agriculture, to ensure that the 3 – year flood was retained in bank this was achieved by lowering water levels during the growing season to reduce waterlogging on the land beside watercourses known as callows. Flood protection in the benefiting lands was increased as a result of the Arterial Drainage Schemes.
The Brosna (Westmeath, Offaly and Laois) was the first scheme, which commenced in 1947. The last schemes were completed in the 1990s. Arterial Drainage schemes cover approximately 20% of the country, typically the flattest areas. The OPW is required to maintain Arterial Drainage schemes under sections 37 and 38 of the Arterial Drainage Act, 1945. The Act was amended on a number of occasions, e.g. to transpose EU Regulations and Directives such as the EIA, SEA, and Habitats Directives and the Aarhus Convention.
More information on this and completed major Arterial Drainage Schemes carried out by OPW can be found on the opw.ie website
Under the Arterial Drainage Acts, 1945 and 1995, construction and alteration of watercourses, bridges, weirs and embankments require the prior consent of the OPW. These legal requirements mainly serve to ensure that proposed construction and alteration projects do not increase the risk of flooding or have a negative impact on drainage of land. Further information on this and application forms can be found on the opw.ie website.Go to Drainage Works Map viewer