Irish Water say the controversial Shannon water pipeline remains the only viable option to keep up with demand.
The organisation says it’s examined almost 600 potential sources but says the plan to pump water from Parteen Basin in Tipperary, remains the best solution for the capital and parts of the east and midlands.
It forms part of a draft Regional Water Resources Plan for the Eastern and Midlands regions, which goes to a three-month public consultation from today.
Lawyer Emma Kennedy, of Kennedy Analysis, believes the €1.3 billion price tag for the pipeline would be better spent fixing leaks.
“We have been opposed to it along with various other organisations who have been challenging it for years and years. Principally because the pipeline is simply not needed.
“They’re talking about extracting water from the River Shannon and pumping it 200 kilometres across the country through an enormous pipeline to Dublin where leakage levels are off the charts.”
Irish Water’s Angela Ryan says the pipeline is part of their preferred approach to strengthen water supply in the region, which spans from west Limerick to north of Drogheda.
“We looked at over 1,100 options within the region. Those options were new groundwater supplies, new surface water supplies, upgrades to existing supplies.
“What we’ve come out with is a preferred approach that includes a new transfer from the Shannon but also includes reinforcing 136 existing water treatment plants.”