Ireland’s Water Network:10 years before we see any improvement?

Ireland’s Water Network:10 years before we see any improvement?

Ireland’s water Network: 10 years before we seen any improvement?This year’s latest sub zero temperature episode led yet again to water mains and service pipes bursting and left authorities struggling to meet with shortages once more. In Dublin alone more than 5,000 leaks were found and the demand for water surged to 610 million litres in one day and 625 the following day!

It is clear that Ireland’s water network is in bad need of repair, “This was entirely predictable given the shambolic state of the country’s water network and the Government’s failure to fix it, especially when 43% of the supply was already leaking into the ground”, commented one TD on the water crisis last winter.

However, last April Minister for the Environment John Gormley did allocate €320 million for the replacement and rehabilitation of defective or leaking water mains and along with the introduction of domestic water charges that are due to be implemented in 2014, it would seem that both Ireland’s water network and supply issues would be resolved.

Having said all that no work has yet been carried out and according to Gerry Galvin, the principal engineering adviser for water at the Department of the Environment, “It’s going to take a considerable length of time sustaining the same level of investment if the problem is to be solved.” His own estimate is that just dealing with the worst mains will take 10 years! Similarly “Fitting meters is going to be a very expensive business and will take a long time. It’s a huge undertaking, and the cost nationally is likely to be between €400 million and €500 million,” says Brian Smyth of Dublin City Council.

Have your say:

  • Ireland’s water Network: 10 years before we see any improvement?
There are 11 comments for this article
  1. Freddy Viaja at 3:27 pm

    water metering is all very well, but if you have your own well and have a filtration syatem in place will the government contribute towards the upkeep of this to ensure that the water you are paying them for is clean drinking water?

  2. Colm at 6:24 am

    It’s amazing how bad the problem was this year just after they proposed to introduce a Water tax.

    Now I’m not saying that they made the problem as bad as it was but I wonder if they were really that motivated to fix it quickly. A few days of headlines about our crumbling water system really would help win over public opinion when it comes to introducing the Water tax to allow local councils modernise that system.

  3. Flannery at 11:54 pm

    Have recently returned from 3 mths exploring as much of your wonderful country as possible in such a short time. I was flabergasted to learn people did not pay, what Australians call, water rates. How did you think the infrastructure was to be maintained? It is not only the recent work from developers. They would have been connecting new PVC pipes to very old clay pipes! Sorry to say Reality time has arrived. But this time, ensure the incompetent managers make the best decisions and act. But it will cost. Sorry to sound so stern. (Australia is far from perfect!!) Water infrastructure,though, is crucial. Loved Ireland, would love to live there. You have a magical country and have so much that has been lost elsewhere. Smiles from Oz.

  4. Patrick Loftus at 10:10 pm

    Stop trying to find more inefficient ways to tax us more, The toll system for instance is internationally recognised as the most inefficient way to raise money for roads with more than one third of revenue typically going on administration charges.Despite this our stupid Government or more especially the “Green leg” of our current Government is planning to extend this farce and will probably justify it on the basis of the number of jobs it will create. A simple 1% on fuel would have the same result in revenue terms and with less in admin costs. Spending €500 million on meters in the interest of equity at a time that the country is broke beggers belief: a levy on every house with relief for special cases is the only way to go.Tax if you must but tax efficiently and effectively and cut out this “Green” or environmental nonsense by way of justification.
    The pragmatic Virginian.

  5. Peter O’Connor at 7:43 pm

    What a couple of spas.
    AV Watt has it right. Pay up and be proud. F*** the buggers that don’t perform. Stay on the job. Water is NOT a free commodity. We need it , we want it and we want it right!! So we pay – when it’s right and don’t when it’s not. Then we sue those responsible.
    Stop crappin on about a crap but “free” service. Get real – user pays.
    ps I’ve lived 20 years abroad – I know what water means and the true costs. Get back to me if you feel you need to be educated.
    pfiddle at gmail dot com

  6. lucy at 6:58 pm

    The water we have here in parts of this country, is not fit to wash ourselves, never mind consumption, and we are not ready for any crisis, eg flooding, pipes are no dept under ground in freezing conditions, roads in desperate conditions, after a wee spell of wintery weather.
    We are becoming the new poor!!

  7. Tom at 5:41 pm

    I agree to pay for water, but I want a meter. Paying for a flat rate is completely unfair. How do you charge a single person living in a small apartment, and a full family living in a big house? By paying the same flat rate? Hopefully not!
    Having said that, the government of this country doesn’t show any shame of that situation. Ireland is one of the country where it is raining the most in Europe, how is it even possible to let a situation like this happened? How other countries in Europe are managing to provide water with much less rain fall all year long without problem? I lived many years in South Europe, in a place where we get 300 days of sunshine a year and I never experienced a water cut before. And I have to be in Ireland to experience that! I believe people in this country are very patient with their government, especially when you think that their salary as a ministers were amongst the highest in Europe. It was their job to plan and invest the money wisely and properly when they had it. They completely failed to do it. What a shame! I can understand why German taxpayers are not so keen to come to the rescue.

  8. Carol Capani at 2:13 pm

    The country cannot afford to put meetings in everyone’s home, it would be better to have a flat rate charge for water and it could be implemented immediately. The charge should be based on circumstances also, social welfare families should not be charged, so putting metors in homes would be crazy. Create a department for each county to look after payments and source who can and cant pay, this will create jobs and we will be 4 to 5 million better off.

    Many thanks for listening

  9. Billy at 2:09 pm

    How can they think of charging the nation for a defective system. What other business would make you pay for something that is defective. In christams ’09 I had no water for two weeks. This last christmas none of my neighbours had water for nearly 2 weeks. The estate is only 11 years old. The mains are only some 9″ to 12″ below ground. Surely the council must have known this before they signed off on the estate. Now the developers have gone bust and there is nowhere to turn to have this rectified.
    I wouldn’t have minded paying for something for water if it can be guaranteed (as much as it is possible)that the supply is constant and the water is drinkable. But the government has decimated my income over the past 2 years, and now they want to increase my out goings (increased taxes, increased fuel costs, ridiculous rise in vhi, etc etc ad nauseum. It’s all take (unless you are a td).

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  11. AV Watt at 1:40 pm

    The water situation can be improved substantially in a much shorter time span than the 10 years mentioned by:
    1. Fitting meters at all consumers, no exceptions
    2. Metering water from the reservoir to the transmission pipes and from the transmission pipes to the local distribution networks. The area which looses water in leaks pays the cost.
    3. Use the revenue generated from selling water to pay off the loans that have to be raised to pay for fast upgrades to the system.
    It is as simple as that.

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