- What are the main infrastructural issues that should be considered in the JULAP?
- What are the energy network and telecommunications/broadband needs in Carlow-Graiguecullen?
- How can the JULAP contribute to the promotion of renewable energy use and generation?
- What can we do to promote waste reduction?
7. Infrastructure (Water/Wastewater and Environmental Services)
The future development of Carlow-Graiguecullen is dependent on the availability of high-quality infrastructure networks and environmental services. These include water supply, wastewater management, waste management, drainage, electricity, gas, telecommunications and broadband.
Drinking Water and Wastewater
Irish Water is responsible for public water services (water supply and foul drainage), including the delivery, integration and implementation of strategic water and wastewater projects and infrastructural improvements. It is an objective of Irish Water to provide both drinking water and wastewater capacity to facilitate growth in accordance with core strategies at county level and with national and regional planning policies and objectives (subject to the constraints of the Irish Water Capital Investment Programme).
Carlow and Laois County Councils will, as part of the preparation of the JULAP, collaborate with Irish Water regarding any future infrastructure provision/ upgrade requirements for the Greater Urban Area.
Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SuDS)
Surface water drainage is the responsibility of Carlow and Laois County Councils. All new development applications must account for how the surface water runoff will be managed on development sites. As such, the Councils aim to control runoff from such sites through Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SuDS). SuDS aims to contain surface waters on site for gradual release back to watercourses or public drainage systems to as close as possible a ‘greenfield’ situation. Climate change and urbanisation will together present challenges for urban drainage, particularly in relation to more frequent rainfall events and incidences of urban (pluvial) flooding. The use of SuDS will therefore become more important as a climate action (adaptation) measure.
Waste management is integral to sustainable development, protecting public health and maintaining a high-quality environment. The role of local authorities in waste management has evolved and the principal areas of activity are now regulatory, education and enforcement related. Waste management policies are based on the EU Waste Hierarchy of prevention, preparing for re-use, recycling, energy recovery and sustainable disposal.
Fig 3: Circular Economy (Source: EPA)
There are many challenges in waste management, including minimisation of waste generation, maximising recovery/reuse and disposal/recovery through authorised facilities, promoting more sustainable consumption patterns, and the application of circular economy principles.
The supply and distribution of electricity and gas in Carlow- Graiguecullen is an important factor in the provision and location of employment and the creation of sustainable communities. Carlow and Laois County Councils will continue to work alongside key energy providers in facilitating the future development of networks throughout the Greater Urban Area. Both Councils are also cognisant of National Policy which seeks to promote renewable energy use and generation at appropriate locations within the built and natural environment to meet national objectives towards achieving a low carbon economy.
Renewable Energy Opportunities
Renewable energy is that which is derived from natural resources that are not depleted when used and are alternatives to fossil fuels. The scale of renewable energy developments can range from micro to large-scale, providing energy for a single dwelling, a commercial property, or being exported to the electricity grid for distribution. The preparation of the JULAP provides an opportunity to provide a policy position for renewable energy opportunities in Carlow- Graigcuecullen, thereby enabling the town to maximise its contribution to achieving EU and national targets.
Telecommunications and Broadband
Investment in telecommunications and broadband is essential for furthering the social and economic development of Carlow- Graiguecullen. The importance of advanced communications infrastructure is recognised for an information-based society, and as a key support for business, education, and research.
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER