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Call for Lough Erne water management review

A major review of how water levels are managed in Lough Erne should be undertaken in a bid to prevent a repeat of last year’s flood in Co Fermanagh, a report has found.wa

A number of roads around the county must also be raised and upgraded, the Government taskforce that investigated the episode recommended.

In November last year vast swathes of the county became submerged after days of heavy rainfall, marooning many residents in their homes and forcing the closures of schools and businesses.

The taskforce which was set up by the Stormont Executive in the wake of the flooding heard evidence from people affected.

While it found that lowering the level of the lough on a permanent basis was unfeasible and would have a detrimental impact on the natural environment, the report did recommend a review of how the waterway was managed.

The Northern Ireland section of the lough is managed by the Rivers Agency and by the Electricity Supply Board across the border at the hydroelectric power station at Ballyshannon, Co Donegal.

That management scheme - Erne System Operating regime - was established more than 50 years ago.

“This regime was first developed in the 1950s and should now be the subject of an in-depth review to ensure that it adequately meets modern-day needs,” said the taskforce.

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