Nine out of 10 households in Ireland will be paying water charges by 2014, according to Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan.
Speaking ahead of a six week public consultation process on water services in Ireland, which begins today, Minister Hogan said that the expected the system for charging for the provision of water would be up and running within two years.
The government expects to establish a new State body known as ‘Irish Water’ which will take over the responsibility of the delivery of water services from 34 local authorities and install water meters in all homes.
Speaking to Morning Ireland, Minister Hogan said that he expected this to create 2,000 jobs for plumbers and people in the construction industry.
“Water is an essential component of any job creation strategy,” he said.
”We have an abundance of water but we often take it for granted and we need to protect it.”
He described the current provision of water in Ireland as ”too fragmented” and said he was ”seeking to bring it altogether under one entity”.
Hogan added that he expected a universal water charge to be levied by 2014.