The Old River Shannon is the stretch of river between Parteen Weir and Limerick City that is affected by the Shannon Scheme (1929). The waterbody is part of the Lower Shannon canditate Special Area of Conservation. This stretch of river receives a compensation flow of 10 cumes, which approximates the natural Dry Weather Flow (nDWF) in the catchment. This compensation flow was set almost 100 years ago and may need to reviewed. The fish passage facilities on the Shannon dams were built in the 1960s and may need to replaced. Development is taking place on the old flood plains, and this may need to be curtailed.This group has been set up against the background of proposals to abstract 4 cumecs from the mid-Shannon area; currently in the absence of consideration of future hydrological requirements of the Lower Shannon.
Other issues such as the implications of future privatisation of the ESB, who currently control the river, will be considered. This group has been set up to investigate, raise awarness, and advise on a suitable future management protocols for this internationally important waterbody, in the interests of ecology, hydrology, fluvial geomorphology, cultural heritage and of course the catchment resdients and varied user groups on the river.