6 Oct 2016

Recently the Dutch Peer Review Report on Irish Flood Risk Management has been handed over to Mr Seán Canney, Minister of State with special responsibility for the Office of Public Works and Flood Relief by Mr Paul Schellekens, Dutch Ambassador to Ireland. The independent Peer Review was carried out by the Dutch Risk Reduction Team of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment of the Netherlands consisting of Prof. M. Kok (Delft University/HKV Consultants), Marjan den Braber (Royal HaskoningDHV) and Marit Zethof (HKV Consultants).

Dutch Ambassador Paul Schellekens (l) and Secretary of State Seán Canney | Royal HaskoningDHV

Image: Dutch Ambassador Paul Schellekens (l) and Secretary of State Seán Canney

The Peer Review Report contains findings on the current flood protection policy for Ireland carried out by OPW. These findings are based on interviews with several professionals within OPW during a working visit to Ireland. The team concludes that Ireland uses the international best practice for flood protection policies and indicates that OPW is on track to comply with the EU Flood Directive. In the report a number of recommendations on four elements are presented:

  • Investments in flood protection by the government should be increased,
  • Improve flood forecasting and develop tools for quick information sharing with citizens,
  • Integrated policies for the different sectors to enhance collaboration, i.e.: fishery, marine, agriculture, urban planning and forestry.
  • Integrated plan to locate and mitigate coastal erosion.

Minister Canney said “I am delighted to receive this report from Ambassador Schellekens today. This is a very valuable and comprehensive piece of work that was conducted independently by Dutch experts in the field of flood risk management. The Report has reviewed Irish Flood Risk Management, benchmarked it with international best practice, and provides strategic direction for the future of flood risk management in Ireland which will inform the Catchment Assessment and Management Programme (CFRAM). It also acts as confirmation of the process undertaken to date”.

The Irish government will invest €430 million in flood risk management works in 2016-2021.