Ireland - Services


Flood Risk

With a highly experienced team of chartered engineers, modellers and consultants, RPS has the technical expertise to support clients across all aspects of flood risk, hydrology and sustainable drainage. We provide commercial, practical, cost-effective advice and solutions, working closely with clients to meet their objectives.

We have international experience spanning a diverse range of projects, from planning applications for residential, industrial and mixed use developments, to strategic scale assessments in support of airports, large-scale developments and infrastructure projects.

We have extensive experience in the development of innovative, sustainable flood risk management solutions. Our process includes the consideration of both hard and soft engineering options, cost benefit analysis, whole life costing and environmental impact assessment.

Our clients include developers, local authorities and water authorities. We also advise and support government agencies with statutory responsibilities for flood risk management.

Our services include:

Hydrological assessment

River & estuarine modelling

Coastal process modelling

Storm surge analysis

Flood mapping

Stakeholder consultation

Economic assessment

Hydraulic structures design

Flood alleviation works design

Environmental impact assessment

Catchment management studies

Bridge assessments

Structural stability assessments

Case Studies

Carlow Flood Relief Project



RPS designed the award winning Carlow Flood Relief Project on behalf of Carlow County Council and the Office of Public Works (OPW). The project safeguards current and future residents of Carlow Town against the threat of flooding through the construction of reinforced concrete and sheetpiled floodwalls.

The biggest challenge for the RPS team was to design defences that would not adversely impact on the town’s long relationship with its rivers. The River Barrow, being navigable through Carlow town, has a significant number of water users. Therefore, the design involved considerable correspondence with multiple stakeholders. The final design included approximately 2km of flood walls in the urban area of Carlow town, along the east bank of the River Barrow and on both banks of the River Burrin. The flood walls are designed for the 1 in 100 year flood level in the rivers.

The design incorporated an elevated urban relief road which is approximately 350m in length along the Barrow Track, which was previously a low-lying tow path for barges. The road was designed with a finished level above the design flood level but includes a 4m wide pedestrian/cycle path at the lower level. In times of flood, the tow path will be inundated but for the majority of the time it will be accessible and provides additional public amenity areas within the town.

As well as protecting the built environment, this project has provided an added benefit to the town by regenerating areas and improving the public’s association with the town’s river. The project was awarded the Engineers Ireland Protecting the Built Environment Award 2014.

Catchment Flood Risk and Management (CFRAM) Studies



RPS has delivered Catchment Flood Risk and Management (CFRAM) studies across four out of the seven river basin districts in the Republic of Ireland on behalf of the Office of Public Works. The purpose of the studies is to provide the full range of analysis services in support of Irish Government to meet their statutory obligations under the EU Floods Directive.

The studies covered over 100 areas identified as being at potential significant risk. The services provided included survey procurement, hydrological and hydraulic analysis, risk assessment, option development and culminated in the delivery of detailed flood risk mapping and Flood Risk Management Plans across more than ten catchments / units of management.

From topographical river channel and LiDAR based floodplain surveys, detailed hydraulic models were developed for the 100+ areas identified. The hydrological analysis included acting as a test bed for the latest suite of hydrological analysis tools developed by the Office of Public Works. The studies also incorporated innovative techniques to process rainfall radar data and use it within hydrological models to compliment the statistical approaches based on hydrometric gauging stations. Coastal analysis, considering the combined effects of astronomical tides, storm surge and wave action was undertaken for the coastal risk areas. Flood risk management options were developed for every area where significant risk was demonstrated through the detailed analysis. This involved damage assessment, cost benefit and multi-criteria analysis to arrive at management measures such as hard defence schemes, attenuation, upper catchment management and policy recommendations which demonstrated best value for the Irish Government.

These holistic studies began in 2011/12 with staged deliverables from 2014 through to 2017 and involved the management of a large multidisciplinary team to meet strict EU reporting deadlines.

Waterford City Flood Alleviation Project



RPS was appointed by the OPW and Waterford City Council to undertake a feasibility study and detailed design of the circa. €20m flood alleviation scheme in Waterford.

The project was developed to reduce the risk of flooding from the River Suir and John's River. RPS undertook detailed hydrological and hydraulic assessments of the river estuary, cost benefit analysis and developed the preferred solution of flood walls and embankments for public exhibition and engagement.

The preferred option incorporated the construction of approximately 10km of flood walls and embankments along the river banks (River Suir and John’s River) in Waterford City and includes the design of approximately 1km of an innovative 1.1 metre high glass flood wall. RPS undertook all aspects of the project from inception, through design, construction, site supervision, project management and client handover.