Water charging abolished in Ireland after parliamentary vote
Water services in Ireland will be funded by general taxation after the Dail, Ireland's parliament, accepted a recommendation that only ‘excessive use’ should attract direct water charges.
The Dáil voted by 96 votes to 48 to accept the recommendations of a report by the Committee on the Future Funding of Water Services. This followed a deal between the two leading political parties, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, on the issue which has proved highly controversial in the Republic since water charging was introduced alongside a metering programme, in 2014.
Around 92 per cent of the country will pay nothing for their water under the new arrangements, with only those showing excessive use – defined as usage that is 70 per cent above the average household use of 133 litres per person per day – having to pay a levy.
Meters that are in place will be used to calculate this usage, but there will be no compulsory roll-out of meters to households that are currently non-metered. However, new build properties in Ireland will be required to have meters fitted, and bulk metering will be implemented for multi-unit developments such as apartment blocks. The Government will also consider how best to incentivise voluntary take-up of meters.
The Water Services Act 2007 will be amended in order to impose levies on householders who waste water, rather than fines. Householders who have already paid water charges will receive refunds.
Meanwhile, Irish Water will continue to operate with its funding coming from general taxation; in order to provide certainty, the Government will be required to factor this into its annual budget. A referendum has also been promised on whether Irish Water should have its public ownership enshrined in the constitution.
- London Assembly publishes summary of flood risks The London Assembly Environment Committee has published a summary of the flood risks facing the capital. Read More >
- 'Self-healing' concrete research gets backing Structures made from self-healing materials could soon be a significant step closer, thanks to a three-year, £1.6M... Read More >
- NI Water contractors withdrawn over 'serious threat' NI Water has withdrawn contractors working in the Glen Crescent area of west Belfast following a serious threat to... Read More >
- Meeting AMP7 leakage targets Damian Crawford, head of smart networks & leakage at Stantec, discusses how becoming data-rich and knowledge-smart can... Read More >
- Rewarding excellence WWT content director Alec Peachey looks ahead to next year's Water Industry Awards. Read More >
- Delivering a smart network Tom Mills, senior director UK&I at Sensus, examines what a smart water network really means - and how to get there. Read More >
- A watershed moment for the water industry? Tessa Harding, director of water at Thomson Environmental Consultants, discusses the government's Environment Bill. Read More >
- AMP7: putting the customer centre stage 2020 marks the beginnings of a new chapter for clients and contractors in the water industry with the start of AMP7, the... Read More >