WELCOMING the new Irish Water Utility, one Laois/Offaly public representative stressed the need for the new company to focus on the provision of a safe, secure and sustainable supply of water to all customers. However, Sinn Féin’s Brian Stanley claimed water meters and water charges had nothing to with water conservation.
Labour Senator, John Whelan stated, “It is incumbent on Bord Gáis to now forge strong relationships and strategic alliances with the country’s local authorities and Bord na Mona to ensure a secure supply and smooth transition of water services.”
Senator Whelan went on to voice concerns about the country’s archaic water pipe system leaking thousands of litres daily at exorbitant cost to the taxpayer and pointed out that the new company needed to tackle “this needless waste as a top priority”.
Senator Whelan said it is now essential that the Government in tandem with the new Irish Water utility expedite the construction of the proposed new water reservoir at Garryhinch, Portarlington. “This joint enterprise between Bord na Mona and Dublin city Council entails an investment of €500 million and would generate one thousands jobs in the construction phase.”
Meanwhile, Sinn Fein’s Spokesperson on Environment, Community and Local Government, Brian Stanley, TD raised serious questions installation of domestic water meters. He claimed the introduction of water meters and water charges had “more to do with setting up the water sector for privatisation and nothing to do with water conservation” and his party would be resisting the moves every inch of the way.
Continuing, Deputy Stanley believed the Government would be better off investing money from the National Pension Reserve Fun in creating real jobs that have positive legacy.
“The money would be better spent in upgrading our leaking water distribution system which loses 40% of the water supply through leakages. District metering is already in use Laois and Offaly County Council’s and has proved very effective in identifying leaks and managing water supplies. The cost of installing them is minimal compared to household meters.”