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OPW Lee Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management Study

Background

The Office of Public Works and partners, Cork City Council and Cork County Council, have recognised the high levels of existing flood risk around the River Lee and its tributaries and estuary.  Flood risk is also likely to increase in the future with predicted changes in climate, ongoing development and other pressures that may arise. Flooding in Cork City and County in October 2004 highlighted this issue as a significant problem requiring urgent attention.

To address this issue, a catchment-based flood risk assessment and management study of the River Lee and its tributaries and estuary – the Lee Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management Study has been undertaken. The study covers the Lee Estuary, main watercourses, urban areas of specific flood risk and areas under significant development pressure. Work on the study started in August 2006 and continued until early 2010 when a Flood Risk Management Plan was published.  This plan defines the levels of existing and future flood risk in the Lee Catchment and sets out how this will be managed both now and into the future. 

Study objectives

The objectives of the Lee Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management Study are to:

  • Assess the flood risk to the river catchment as a whole with particular focus on urban areas;
  • Identify probable future land use and climate changes that could increase the risk of flooding;
  • Carry out an environmental study, known as a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), to ensure that environmental issues and opportunities for enhancement are fully considered as part of the study;
  • Consider potential options to manage the flood risk including both structural and non-structural measures;
  • Develop an economically, socially and environmentally appropriate long-term strategy (a Flood Risk Management Plan) for managing the risk to help ensure the safety and sustainability of communities in the Lee Catchment.  

Lee Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management Study

Early studies were undertaken by the Consultants to enable a strategy to be proposed in the South Docks Local Area Plan.  Arising from these studies the L.A.P. has adopted the following strategy:

  • Perimeter protection along the quays to a level of 4.6 m O.D.
  • Raise ground levels generally in Docklands, with a minimum finished floor level of 3.5 m O.D.

Details of the study and its progress is available on http://www.leecframs.ie/

North Lee Channel in Cork City

North Lee Channel in Cork City

South Lee Channel in Cork City

South Lee Channel in Cork City

South Lee Channel in Cork City 2

South Lee Channel in Cork City

Cork Docklands 2

Cork Docklands