NI Water funding cuts risk 'tangible impacts' - CEO
Northern Ireland Water CEO Sara Venning has issued a fresh warning over funding levels as the utility published its annual report for 2017/18.
The report coincides with the third year of a six-year price control period, PC15, and while it showed leakage – at 165 million litres per day – exceeded the 159 million litres per day target, the utility was able to report the delivery of its best ever levels of service to customers, including the best ever drinking water quality and near record levels of wastewater compliance.
However, NI Water has had to contend with a shortfall of £55 million in the Government funds that it gets for projects in PC15, with the two main political parties in Northern Ireland having written to the Secretary of State expressing the need for appropriate funding.
Venning said: “As outlined in our report, every aspect of life in Northern Ireland relies on the water and wastewater services we provide. Our business is essential to support a thriving population, a growing economy and a flourishing environment.
“To continue to do so however, we must be adequately funded.
“NI Water is not immune from public expenditure cuts and uncertainty over funding. This places progress on efficiencies at risk and could result in tangible impacts on service delivery, the local economy and the environment.
“Our PC15 business plan started from a constrained capital expenditure position with £990 million of public expenditure budget available against an investment requirement of £1.7 billion. Further public expenditure cuts over PC15 mean that around £55m of projects will not be delivered.
“These are projects such as new water mains or upgraded wastewater treatment plants needed to connect new houses and underpin wider economic growth. This has been highlighted very recently by the fact that several areas of Northern Ireland face the prospect of curbs on development as the result of capacity issues in the sewerage networks.
“We fully support the Department for the Economy’s proposals to build the best economic infrastructure and appreciate the support we have received from elected representatives from all parties who recognise the essential nature of the services we provide. NI Water will continue to work with them and all our stakeholders to build the infrastructure needed for the 21st century.”
- UK may ban plastic microbeads, says Stewart The UK government is considering a ban on the use of plastic microbeads in cosmetics because of their effect on aquatic... Read More >
- NI Water keeps charges below inflation for 2017-18 NI Water has announced that non-domestic water and sewerage charge increases are again being held below the rate of... Read More >
- Survey shows fall in support for water nationalisation There has been a substantial fall in public support for water nationalisation, according to a new survey by polling... Read More >
- The price of water As part of our Utility of the Future campaign, Robin Hackett looks at whether low water bills can be maintained long term Read More >
- Scottish Water starts planning for the long term For SR21, Scottish Water is moving away from the traditional approach to business plans and developing a blueprint for the... Read More >
- Football teams and water companies: Closer than you think New season, new league, new challenges... Egremont Group's Owen Quinn and Alex Graham on the parallels between football... Read More >
- Abstract concept: How can water companies reduce abstraction? Despite concerns over supplies, water companies face pressure to reduce abstraction. As part of our Utility of the Future... Read More >
- The end of 'business as usual' in the water sector? James Connolly, head of partnerships at digital asset and works management company eviFile, assesses the message coming... Read More >