18th December

Working with nature to solve the flooding problem

Janice Fuller, Consultant ecologist

As soon as the country was hit with the latest flooding crisis, the blame game started. The usual suspects were cited: ‘the government’ for lack of action since the last major floods and ‘the planners’ for poor planning decisions (i.e. the councillors in many cases). Lip service is also given to climate change as the reason for the unprecedented weather events.

Flooding wetlands

Increasingly, there is a perception that wildlife is prioritised over people in the management of flooding and that nature conservation legislation is partly to blame for the lack of action regarding flood control.

Read more: Working with nature to solve the flooding problem

The economics of flooding - why do floods affect so many people?

Tom McDermott, UCC

Mc Dermott

Recent events have demonstrated again the cost and misery associated with exposure to flooding. At the same time, a growing awareness of rising sea levels and climate change is adding to the challenge for policy-makers in relation to managing flood risk.

A recent study on the effects of flooding in cities worldwide shows that low elevation urban areas concentrate a greater density of economic activity, in spite of their much greater exposure to flooding. Furthermore, in the aftermath of large urban floods, economic activity tends to return to flood-prone low lying areas, rather than relocating to safer areas.

Read more: The economics of flooding - why do floods affect so many people?

Friends of the Earth react to 2015 flooding

Cara Augustenborg, FoE chairman

Augustenborg

Recent flooding across the country has put climate change at the front of many people’s minds. Record-breaking rainfall demonstrates how our warming climate is intensifying the water cycle and putting us at greater risk of storms and floods.

Risk of extreme storms on the west coast of Ireland is now up 25% due to climate change, and the OPW says up to 70,000 properties could be at risk of flooding from increased rainfall and sea-level rise as a result of climate change.

Read more: Friends of the Earth react to 2015 flooding

Environmental legislation is not to blame for latest flooding disaster

In the aftermath of widespread flooding throughout many parts of Ireland in late December when a month’s average rainfall fell in matter of hours, the European Commission has responded to accusations that habitat directives are partly to blame.

Craughwell

Flooding in Craughwell, Co Galway                                                                                     Photo John Conaghan

‘Any suggestion that EU environmental rules are somehow to blame…..is completely without foundation. EU law does not ban dredging. The Water Framework Directive (WFD) and the Floods Directive do not include detailed rules on how Member States manage their water courses. That is decided by the Member States themselves.

Read more: Environmental legislation is not to blame for latest flooding disaster

Finger pointing and quick-fixes won’t solve the flooding crisis

InshoreIreland email

It’s hardly surprising that this issue of Inshore Ireland focuses on the widespread flooding that has been in the headlines since early December and continues to bring hardship, misery and cost to dozens of families in the Shannon flood plain and elsewhere.

It should be no surprise either that the first response towards solving this recurring event is a lot of finger pointing: find someone to blame and find a quick-fix solution.

Read more: Finger pointing and quick-fixes won’t solve the flooding crisis

Irish lake features in global analyses on climate change

Lough Feeagh, Co Mayo, is one of 235 lakes worldwide that was monitored in a 25 study. More than 60 global scientists participated in the research which is now published in the journal, Geophysical Research Letters.L.Feeagh Ireland

Lough Feenagh, Co Mayo, one of 235 lakes worldwide in a 25 year monitoring study. Photo Mary Dillane, Marine Institute

The study found that lakes are warming on average 0.34˚C every decade, and at a greater rate than either the oceans or the atmosphere, with profound effects that threaten freshwater supplies and ecosystems. While representing a fraction of the world’s lakes, they contain more than half of the globe’s freshwater supply.

Read more: Irish lake features in global analyses on climate change

Spread the News

Irish world medalists row in behind water safety a...

Approaching the last bank holiday weekend in 2017, Irish Water Safety reports twenty-seven fewer dro [ ... ]

Government must expedite process to enable public ...

The Environmental Pillar coalition of 26 national organisations has welcomed the comments of the new [ ... ]

Deterioration in ‘pristine’ status of Irish wa...

Ireland has failed to meet a planned national target of 13% improvement in water status and has fail [ ... ]

Water Footprint Network files for bankruptcy

The WFN Foundation has filed for bankruptcy and expects to go into receivership in early September,  [ ... ]

Irish world medalists row in behind water safety awareness campaign
Government must expedite process to enable public access to justice for environmental cases
Deterioration in ‘pristine’ status of Irish waters
Water Footprint Network files for bankruptcy