A BANDON-based councillor said she fears that Clonakilty will grow at the expense of Bandon, as a result of a plan to take Bandon river water to plug shortfalls in Clonakilty’s supply.
At a recent meeting of Bandon Kinsale Municipal District, Cllr Gillian Coughlan (FF) raised the issue after she had attended a recent online meeting with Irish Water.
‘We were told that the water from the Bandon river will be used to plug the shortfall in water services in Clonakilty and I’m really concerned about this,’ said Cllr Coughlan, who added that she was surprised at the speed of it happening.
She said there is currently an open public consultation process underway and urged fellow councillors to engage with it.
‘I’m afraid that Clonakilty will grow at the expense of Bandon. There should be some limits put on the capacity drawn off the Bandon river to go to Clonakilty. I want Clonakilty to grow and prosper, but not at the expense of Bandon,’ she said.
Cllr Coughlan said they were also told at that meeting with Irish Water that most of the country’s public water systems are working at 100% capacity all the time.
‘This means there’s no headroom whatsoever if something breaks and I really feel we need to have some sort of water conservation campaign rolled out.’
She also fears that in years to come they might not have enough water in Bandon as it will have been all siphoned off.
Cllr Kevin Murphy (FG) said that while Bandon would suffer, he believed that Kinsale would suffer big time.
‘Whatever happens up the river will affect those down the river, and there has to be a good proposal before we go into it,’ said Cllr Murphy.
However, Cllr Coughlan said it’s a ‘fait accompli’ and urged councillors and members of the public to look at the public consultation and submit their concerns.
Cllr Alan Coleman (Ind) said the study is looking at what existing headroom is available in Bandon and what is required in Clonakilty as well, but added that it’s a temporary proposal for a number of years.
‘The long-term proposal is that Bandon would be linked with Inniscarra, which would be a positive thing to have the river linked to one of the biggest water schemes in the British Isles,’ said Cllr Coleman, who said he wouldn’t be that negative about the proposal.
He said that he trusts the county engineer won’t leave Bandon short of water.
Meanwhile, Cllr Coughlan also called for better communication from TII (Transport Infrastructure Ireland) in relation to the recent public consultation on the Bandon bypass.
‘I welcome that TII are finally looking at extending the bypass but I would ask that we are kept abreast of all progress as that public consultation came out of the blue at us all,’ said Cllr Coughlan.