South Eastern CFRAM Study
The South Eastern Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management (CFRAM) study commenced in the South Eastern district in August 2011 and will run until the end of 2016.
The South Eastern district is one of Ireland’s largest river basin districts covering about one fifth of the country with an area of nearly 13,000km2. Approximately half a million people live in the district and this population has been steadily growing owing to the spread of Dublin’s commuter belt. The largest urban area is Waterford city but there are several large towns. Nevertheless, 80% of the district’s population lives in small villages or one-off houses in rural areas. The rich soils of the south east are particularly suitable for agriculture and approximately half of the land area is given over to tillage and grassland. The district’s waters support fishing and boating activities and the coastlines of Wexford and Waterford are popular holiday resorts.
Why is the study being carried out?
Floods pose a risk to human life and wellbeing, often cause extensive damage to property and can have severe environmental consequences. The EU Floods Directive (2007/60/EC) is the driving force behind flood management throughout Europe and requires a catchment-based approach to assessing and managing flood risks. The South Eastern CFRAM study has been commissioned in order to meet the requirements of the Floods Directive, as well as to deliver on core components of the 2004 National Flood Policy, in the South Eastern district.
What are the aims of the study?
The main aims of the South Eastern CFRAM Study are to:
• assess flood risk, through the identification of flood hazard areas and the associated impacts of flooding;
• identify viable structural and non-structural measures and options for managing the flood risks for localised high-risk areas and within the catchment as a whole;
• prepare a strategic Flood Risk Management Plan (FRMP) and associated Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) that sets out the measures and policies that should be pursued to achieve the most cost effective and sustainable management of flood risk;
• ensure that full and thorough public and stakeholder consultation and engagement is achieved.
How will the study aims be achieved?
A preliminary flood risk assessment was completed in 2011 to identify areas that need further assessment to determine their risk of flooding. For these risk areas, flood risk maps and flood hazard maps will be drawn up by mid 2014. Flood Risk Management Plans (FRMPs) will be developed by 2016. FRMPs will include measures in relation to flood prevention, protection and preparedness. Emergency response to flooding, recovery from flooding and incorporating lessons learned will be important elements of the FRMPs. Issues such as climate change, land use practices and future development will also be addressed in the FRMPs. The public will have a right to access the CFRAM programme information and to have their say in the development of FRMPs.