Minister of State for Natural Resources and Rural Development Seán Canney T.D. opened the annual Geological Survey Ireland Conference, Geoscience2019: Geoscience for Climate Action. The conference brought together over 200 industry leaders, academia and government scientists, and policy experts to discuss geoscience activity in Ireland and how the community can focus efforts to deliver the objectives set out in the Government's Climate Action Plan.
The one-day conference, which was held at the Aviva Stadium addressed climate action across four thematic areas of geoscience activity:
- Water: Flooding & Drought showcased new groundwater flood mapping and climate-focused talks on groundwater resource mapping, water supply and catchments from Geological Survey Ireland, Irish Water and EPA.
- Coastal & Geohazards included talks on coastal erosion monitoring, sea-level rise and landslide hazard mapping from Geological Survey Ireland and Maynooth University.
- Raw Materials for Sustainable Development detailed work underway and in development in the areas of aggregates (sand & gravel), minerals and soil.
- Decarbonising Energy focused on district heating and geothermal energy as well as climate policy with talks from CODEMA, Geological Survey Ireland, University College Dublin and Department of Communications Climate Action and Environment.
The conference featured a range of new climate change initiatives including:
- Ireland's first predictive maps and monitoring network for groundwater and Turlough flooding;
- Development of a new coastal erosion monitoring system using satellite data;
- Groundwater mapping to deal with water quality, drought and supply issues;
- Mapping of landslide hazards, which are likely to increase with greater rainfall, and
- Development of a roadmap for geothermal energy for district heating;
- Attendants also heard talks on issues including sea level rise, carbon capture & storage, raw materials supply, climate policy and related research.