On Monday 21st October, Geological Survey Ireland (GSI) hosted the third and final technical advisory committee meeting of the Groundwater Flooding Programme (GWFlood) – a three year project with the objective of investigating the drivers and extent of karst groundwater flooding in Ireland. The programme was specifically developed in response to a request for studies on flood prone turlough systems in the Programme for Partnership Government (2016) under Climate Change.
The meeting focussed on the two main deliverables of the GWFlood programme. Firstly, the project has developed the first predictive groundwater flood map for Ireland. The flood map provides not just the likely extent of groundwater flooding, but also the probability of a given flood occurring at specific sites. This was achieved by developing an automated image processing methodology using EU Copernicus Programme Satellite data as well as new hydraulic modelling and flood frequency analysis techniques. Secondly, in order to address the information gap for groundwater flooding, the GWFlood project established a telemetric water-level monitoring network of flood prone turloughs. The monitoring network represents the first systematic collection of hydrometric data of groundwater flooding in Ireland and will provide valuable baseline information for at-risk sites.
The meeting was attended by representatives from government stakeholder groups associated with groundwater flooding in Ireland including the OPW, EPA, NPWS and relevant local authorities. GSI presented the results of project which is to reach its conclusion in December 2019, feedback was invited by all stakeholders and future collaborations were discussed.
Going forward, GSI is looking to capitalise on the data and experience gained through the GWFlood programme to expand its monitoring capacity, with particular emphasis on monitoring the impact of climate change on groundwater resources.
For more information on the Groundwater flooding programme, visit the dedicated page on this website.