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Ireland plans new water facility

Greater Dublin’s water supplies could be boosted by a new reservoir and eco-friendly water park on the site of a former cutaway bog, it has emerged.

Garryhinch Bog, Co Offaly, will be the venue for a boating, fishing, cycling, water and leisure sports facility across 200has - some 30 times bigger than Dublin’s Croke Park stadium - under the proposals.

The reservoir will source water from the River Shannon at Lough Derg in high flows or during flooding, while the facility will benefit nine counties, including four Dublin local authorities.

Dublin City Council executive manager Tom Leahy believes the scheme will serve as a tourist amenity rehabilitating the bog while also helping to safeguard water supplies.

“This innovative recommendation is the result of a huge amount of research and consultation with all stakeholders over the last six years and could benefit everyone,” said Leahy.

“The project is needed to provide security of water supplies and to sustain and grow jobs and the economy.”

A new water source to augment the supplies will be needed in the Dublin region by 2016. Some 1.5M people will benefit from the new source, supplying water to Counties Meath, Wicklow, Kildare, Offaly and Westmeath.

The €540M project would generate around 1,000 construction jobs for three years.

It is also thought long-term positions would be created in the midlands managing the eco-park’s facilities and water plant.

It would be sourced from the River Shannon at Lough Derg when there is more than enough water in the lake for users.

It would be stored in the water eco-park and would be used during periods of low flows in the Shannon.

The average amount of water that will be taken from the lough under the plans is 2% - the same amount that flows into the Atlantic on a daily basis.

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