Domestic Water

There is a looming water supply under-provision in the Greater Dublin Area.

Pipe leaks are a major problem and come in there varieties. Huge bursts that are obvious and then small leaks that can be fixed and then micro leaks that cause dampness and are virtually impossible to eradicate.

The minimum water loss that is economic to repair is about 20% and in Dublin City, we are getting near that level being around 25% at present after a huge effort recently to repair leaks. The city supply is on a knife-edge and the weekends are used to replenish the reservoirs at Stillorgan etc. One of the problems is that the Stillorgan facility is seriously silted and needs to be dredged. John Gormley intends to invest €320 million to upgrade the water distribution network and then meter every house to introduce domestic water charges. It is clear that such charges are inevitable and necessary to limit reckless use of water and preserve water for usage in every house. The alternative is recurring domestic water shortages especially in watershed areas. The political imperative is to ensure that the free water quota is such that families will be catered for and not penalised.

The water issue will present the political loonies with an opportunity to “Turn off the Water Tax” again – reprise 1985. At least Mr Gilmore will understand the rationale. Meanwhile last January’s water shortages and rationing in Dublin have had a positive effect in flushing out the politically responsible.

Councillor Kevin Humphreys who is Leader of the Labour Group on Dublin City Council has publicly supported the necessity for such charges. Because the alternative is to pay for water by central taxation where there is no incentive to preserve a finite resource, I agree that the policy has to be individualised so Kevin is not alone. Kevin is Real Labour – not Flaky Labour or Sticky Labour or Green Labour. I recognise the Real thing when I see it. Coca Cola Labour – The Real Thing!!! Been there – still have the T-shirt!! The country comes first.

Think of Galway and cryptosporidium, cadmium in Somerset, lead in other places and water is important.