The scale of the current and future investment in the upgrade and expansion of our country’s water and wastewater infrastructure is unprecedented. Demands are growing, in terms of water demand, the demand for wastewater treatment capacity, and the environmental demands to ensure works in and around sensitive waterbodies do no harm.
The water utility sector is facing ever-changing environmental and planning challenges, as it seeks to upgrade what is sometimes Victorian infrastructure for the 21st century and beyond. Environmental Impact Assessment, the EU Habitats Directive and the need to appropriately manage invasive species and environmental mitigation measures, are amongst the challenges the sector has had to come to terms with in recent times.
MKO have worked extensively with Local Authorities, Irish Water, firms of consulting engineers and civil engineering contractors to provide environmental and ecological services to this sector. Our experience ranges from minor projects exempt from planning permission but subject to the provisions of the Birds & Natural Habitats Regulations, up to larger water infrastructure projects and drainage schemes, requiring planning permission and also often Ecological Impact Assessments (EcIA), EIA and and Stage 2 Appropriate Assessment. A key requirement of the sector is the prescription of appropriate best practice and mitigation to avoid any adverse effects on ecological receptors during the planning process, that can be translated into practical environmental protection measure on-site. We work closely with our clients to expedite the most efficient and cost-effective solutions to the ecological and environmental challenges that often arise.