Frequently Asked Questions
The current best estimate is that construction will commence in 2021, but this is subject to change. The current estimated Project Programme (at the time of writing, August 2020) is as follows:
Stage I – Complete
Stage II – Planning: Completed by end of 2020
Stage III – Detailed Design and Tender Process: Complete by mid-2021
Stage IV – Commence in 2021
The construction start date is dependent on a number of elements:
The current estimate for the construction period is approx. 24 months, but this is dependent on the option chosen (i.e. how complex the construction may be).
The National Development Plan 2018-2027 commits to almost €1 billion in funding for flood relief schemes, with annual Capital funding for flood relief for the OPW doubling to €100m by 2021.
This is the best available information as of August 2020.
For the design and implementation of flood relief schemes, OPW’s preferred approach is to adopt a “Managed Adaptive Approach”.
This means that provision is made in the design of the scheme in the present day to allow it to be adapted or enhanced in the future to address climate change. The advantage of the “managed adaptive approach” is that it allows for future learning about the climate to inform on the design of flood mitigation measures for future climate scenarios. The most technically, environmentally and economically viable flood protection scheme that addresses future flood risk can therefore be implemented at the appropriate point in time in the future.
The scheme will defend against the present-day flood risk and will be built to be adaptable to future climate change.
Natural Flood Management (NFM) measures were considered during the Optioneering stage of the scheme. Specifically, storage upstream in Ballincrokig. However, because there is a large proportion of the catchment downstream of the storage area, from which run off will increase in the climate change scenario, the potential benefit of the storage area in reducing peak flows at Blackpool will diminish as climate change takes hold. This means that it is unlikely to be a long term solution in itself and would have to be undertaken in parallel with either direct defences and/or conveyance improvements in the long term. Thus it was considered more appropriate to review NFM as a climate change adaptation strategy rather than undertaking it presently.
Dredging is always very challenging environmentally. In this project, much of the river is culverted through the lower reaches of Blackpool thus dredging would have limited impact. Extensive dredging is also considered not viable for this scheme due to the cost of ongoing maintenance.
However, the conveyance improvements proposed throughout the scheme do include some localised dredging as a flood alleviation measure.
The Office of Public Works has no responsibility for oversight or regulation of the insurance industry in relation to flood risk insurance, or to insurance matters generally. The Government’s strategy is that in return to its investment on flood defence schemes in the most at risk communities, households and businesses should be able to access flood insurance.
The Office of Public Works has a very specific role in the exchange of information with the insurance industry in relation to completed flood defence schemes, to an agreed standard of protection desired by the industry.
A Memorandum of Understanding agreed on 24th March 2014, between the Office of Public Works and Insurance Ireland, the representative body for the insurance companies in Ireland has a specific focus on agreeing a basis on which information can be provided to the insurance industry on flood relief schemes completed by the OPW.
The Memorandum came into effect on 1st June, 2014 with an initial tranche of data provided by the Office of Public Works to Insurance Ireland in respect of twelve completed flood defence schemes; showing the design, extent and nature of the protections offered by these works. Details of a further five schemes were provided in January 2015 and details of the Waterford Flood Defence Scheme was provided in 2017.
Since that time the level of flood insurance cover for homes and small businesses for areas protected by OPW flood defence schemes has on average increased from 77% to 82% with the level of flood insurance cover reported to be up to 90% in areas benefitting from fixed defences.
The Department of Finance and the OPW meet with Insurance Ireland to address issues in relation to this transfer of data. It is important to note that while the Memorandum requires that insurers take full account of information provided by the OPW on completed flood defence schemes, it does not guarantee the availability of flood risk cover in the locations for which information has been provided by the OPW. The provision of insurance cover, the level of premiums charged and the policy terms applied are a matter for individual insurers.
Should you have any insurance related complaints or queries, you may to contact Insurance Ireland's Insurance Information Service (01 676 1914 or firstname.lastname@example.org). In addition, the Financial Services Ombudsman (1890 88 20 90) deals independently with unresolved complaints from consumers about their individual dealings with all financial service providers.
No, this has been a key consideration in our design. We have considered the impacts on the area as a whole, rather than focusing on the places that have flooded, to ensure that any works completed as part of this scheme do not increase the flood risk to surrounding lands.