|Posted on April 25, 2012 at 7:50 AM|
Cllr.A.Davitt: To call on Westmeath County Council to outline what steps are to be taken to return normal water levels to the canal.
The Royal Canal is operated by Waterways Ireland and the Council has no jurisdiction over its operation or maintenance.
When the Royal Canal was operating from the early 1800s to the late 1900s, Lough Owel was the main source of water for navigation. The Royal Canal Company and its successors own the water rights from Lough Owel. In 1985, after the Canal had fallen into disuse, Westmeath County Council reached agreement with CIE (the then owner of the Canal) to abstract 5 million gallons per day from Lough Owel for a drinking water supply and gave an undertaking to provide all works necessary for the supply of 5 million gallons per day to the Royal Canal if required in the future for navigation purposes. The water supply from Lough Owel is now largely used to supply Westmeath County Council’s domestic requirements.
The Council is meeting its current obligations to supply water to the Royal Canal and has not placed any restrictions on Waterways Ireland regarding abstraction from Lough Owel, other than the normal requirement to limit the demand as much as possible in the interest of maintaining lake water levels. Through its active water conservation activities, the Council for its part is also limiting abstraction for drinking water supply.
For reasons outside the control of the Council, Waterways Ireland closed the summit level to navigation recently but is still abstracting water from Lough Owel as before.
Cllr.A.Davitt: To call on Westmeath County Council to identify a site for a skate park and playground on the east side of Mullingar town in the general Pettitswood/Lakepoint area
Mullingar Area Office will bring this matter to the attention of the Community & Enterprise Section. A source of funding will be required if this project is to proceed.