South West CFRAM Study
The South Western River Basin District (RBD) includes most of County Cork and parts of Counties Limerick, Kerry, Tipperary and Waterford. It contains the highest mountain in Ireland and is where the highest amount of rainfall over a 24 hour period was recorded (243mm Cloon lake 1993). There is a long history of flooding in the RBD with Cork City, Bandon, Mallow, Skibbereen, Clonakilty and Fermoy among the most vulnerable areas to flooding.
The objectives of the South Western River Basin District Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management (CFRAM) Study are as follows;
- Promote the active participation of the public in addressing flood risk.
- Create accurate flood maps for areas at significant risk from flooding..
- Develop plans to manage flood risk on a catchment wide scale.
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South Western River Basin District
The River Basin District is split into five Units of Management. These Units follow watershed catchment boundaries and do not relate to political boundaries. The Units are as follows;
- The Blackwater catchment
- The Lee / Cork Harbour Catchment
- The Bandon / Skibbereen Catchment
- The Dumanus / Bantry / Kenmare Bay Catchment
- The Laune / Maine / Dingle Bay Catchment
How will the study be carried out?
In order to develop flood risk maps an extensive programme of data collection will be undertaken. The data required will include;
- Records of past flood events
- Rainfall records throughout the RBD
- Runoff records from river level gauges throughout the catchment
- Detailed survey information on the depth, width and slope of all the rivers that contribute to flooding in the RBD
- High resolution floodplain maps captured from the air
Using this information and established relationships between catchment characteristics and river runoff, it will be possible to build up a computer model (hydraulic model) of each study river in the catchment. These models will be used to predict how the rivers will respond to extreme flood events. These models will be validated by comparing the outputs of the models with eye witness accounts of actual flood events. It is important that the study uses the best available information to construct the hydraulic models. This is why we are asking that people who have witnessed extreme flood events let us know how those floods unfolded. To help us with this task please have your say here. The hydraulic Models will be used to produce flood maps that will indicate the extent of extreme flood events, how deep the water could be and how fast the flood water will flow through flooded areas.
When the flood risk maps have been completed, consultations will take place with stakeholders. All interested parties, including members of the public, are invited to provide comments as the study progresses and on the outputs of the study. In particular, extensive consultations will take place on the measures that will be developed to manage the anticipated consequences of flood events.
The project will ultimately produce five Flood Risk Management Plans that will include measures and policies to manage flood risk within each of the five Units of Management in the South Western River Basin District.