Plans will greatly improve the availability of treated drinking water

Following another summer of water conservation notices and water restrictions on the Aran Islands due to low rainfall over the winter months, Irish Water has submitted a number of planning applications to Galway County Council. This includes the construction of water reservoirs on Inis Oírr and Inis Meáin to help ensure a continuous and plentiful supply of water year round on both islands.

It is Irish Water’s intention to construct three new water storage tanks on Inis Oírr and two new tanks on Inis Meáin. This will greatly improve the availability of treated drinking water, especially during the peak tourist season.

Commenting on the applications, Irish Water’s Infrastructure Programme Regional Lead, Padraig Hanly, explained “In recent years both islands, especially Inis Oírr has experienced water shortages due to prolonged periods of dry weather. As a result of this, Irish Water has previously had to tanker water from the mainland to the islands in order to ensure both islands had a sufficient supply of water.

The proposed project will include the construction of three new water storage tanks on Inis Oírr and two new water storage tanks on Inis Meáin. Planning applications have been submitted by Irish Water to Galway County Council for two of the proposed tanks on Inis Oírr and both tanks required for Inis Meáin. The site selection process and surveys required for the final site required on Inis Oírr are ongoing.”

The project also includes the construction of a new watermain to transfer water between the Lacranna source to the water storage tanks on Inis Oírr. The pipeline is approximately 2km in length and will be required to increase the supply capacity from the source to the storage tanks.

This project has been progressed as a result of the findings of a recent hydrological study that found in order to provide a sustainable water supply on both of the islands it would be necessary for Irish Water to provide additional water storage capacity on the islands.  

The new tanks will increase the water storage on Inis Oírr by 9,000m³ and by 3,500m³  on Inis Meáin which is equivalent to more than 100 days stored water supply on both islands. The site selection process and surveys necessary to determine the final site required for the remaining proposed water storage tank on Inis Oírr are ongoing. It is planned that Irish Water will submit the final planning application by winter 2017.

Site investigation works are currently taking place on both islands to inform the design of the proposed raw water storage tanks and raw water mains. Ground Investigations Ireland Limited are currently working on behalf of Irish Water to carry out these site investigation works. Irish Water expects the site investigation works to be completed by the end of July.

Subject to planning approval it is expected that the main construction works will start next year.

Iarratas ar phleanáil déanta ag Uisce Éireann chun umair stórála a mhéadú ar Inis Oírr agus Inis Meáin

Tar éis samhraidh d’fhógraí caomhnaithe uisce agus srianta uisce ar na hOileáin Árann de bharr báistigh íseal thar na míonna geimhrí, tá iarratais pleanála curtha isteach ag Uisce Éireann chuig Comhairle Chontae na Gaillimhe i gcomhair tógála taiscumar uisce ar Inis Oírr agus Inis Meáin, taiscumair a chinnteoidh go mbeidh soláthar sásúil leanúnach uisce ar an dá oileáin ó cheann ceann na bliana.

Is é cuspóir Uisce Éireann ná trí umar stórála uisce a thógáil ar Inis Oírr, chomh maith le dhá cheann ar Inis Meáin a fheabhsóidh an méid uisce inólta atá cóireáilte, in amanna nuair atá an séasúir turasóireachta ina bhuaic ach go háirithe.

Ag déanamh tráchta ar na hiarratais, mhínigh Padraig Hanly ó Uisce Éireann “Le blianta beaga anuas, bhíodh ganntanais uisce ar an dá oileáin, Inis Oírr ach go háirithe de bharr tréimhsí fada d’aimsir thirim. Mar gheall ar seo, bhí ar Uisce Éireann uisce a iompar ón mórthír go dtí na hoileáin ionas go gcinnteofar go mbeidh soláthar dóthanach uisce ar an dá oileáin.

Tá tógáil na n-umar stórála uisce (trí cheann ar Inis Oírr agus dhá cheann ar Inis Meáin) curtha san áireamh leis an tionscadal molta. Tá iarratais pleanála curtha isteach ag Uisce Éireann chuig Comhairle Chontae na Gaillimhe i gcomhair dhá umar ar Inis Oírr agus an dhá cheann atá molta d’Inis Meáin. Tá an próiseas rogha suímh agus na suirbhéanna atá ag teastáil don suíomh deireanach ar Inis Oírr ar siúl faoi láthair.”

Tá tógáil an phíomhphíobáin uisce ón bhfoinse Lacranna go dtí na humair stórála uisce ar Inis Oírr curtha san áireamh leis an tionscadal chomh maith. Tá an phíblíne thart ar 2km ar fad agus beidh sí ag teastáil chun an achmhainn soláthair ón bhfoinse go dtí na humair stórála a mhéadú.

Tá an tionscadal curtha chun cinn de bharr torthaí ó staidéar hidreolaíoch le déanaí a fuarthas amach go bhfuil sé riachtanach acmhainn stórála uisce sa bhreis a chur ar fáil chun soláthair inbhuanaithe uisce a sholáthar ar an dá oileáin.

Méadóidh na humair nua an soláthar uisce ar Inis Oírr le 9,000m3 agus le 3,500m3 ar Inis Meáin, is ionann na figiúirí seo agus níos mó ná 100 lá soláthair uisce stórála ar an dá oileáin.

Tá an próiseas rogha suímh agus na suirbhéanna atá ag teastáil chun an suíomh deireanach ar Inis Oírr a shocrú ar siúl faoi láthair. Tá sé beartaithe go gcuirfidh Uisce Éireann an t-iarratas pleanála deireanach isteach faoi gheimhreadh 2017.

Tá oibreacha fiosrúchán suímh ar siúl ar an dá oileán chun bonn eolais a chur faoi dhearadh na humar stórála amhuisce agus dearadh na bpríomhlíonraí amhuisce. Tá Ground Investigations Ireland Limited ag obair ar son Uisce Éireann faoi láthair chun na hoibreacha fiosrúcháin a chur i gcrích. Tá Uisce Éireann ag súil go mbeidh na hoibreacha seo críochnaithe faoi dheireadh mí Iúil.

Ag brath ar cheadú pleanála, tá sé beartaithe go dtosóidh na príomhoibreacha tógalá an bhliain seo chugainn.

Galway

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