THE COST of a controversial pipeline to take water from the River Shannon near Limerick City and deliver it Dublin is set to go over budget.
The project is now likely to exceed the estimated €1.3 billion cited in the National Development Plan (NDP), according to Irish Water.
Plans for the Shannon pipeline to abstract water from the Parteen Basin have been met with fierce opposition from concerned environmentalists, farmers and tourism operators in Limerick, Clare and Tipperary.
Irish Water has informed the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government that rising costs may put the project over budget but has not yet given any revised costings.
The company plans to start construction of the pipeline in 2023 and estimates it will take up to four years to complete
The project was chosen as the viable option from a number of possible solutions to the growing demand for water in Dublin, including a seawater desalination plant.
However, the River Shannon Protection Alliance (RSPA) says that Dublin could solve its water problems if it just tackled the leaks.
Gerry Siney of the RSPA points out that Dublin is awash with water that needs to be filtered and purified regardless of its source.
“They should insist that Irish Water implement a strategic plan for the replacement of Dublin’s ancient, corroded and leaking pipes. The replacement of these pipes is unavoidable and the taxpayer cannot be expected to finance a flawed pipeline scheme which represents the wrong solution,” he said.