Ireland is facing an uncertain future in respect to its antiquated and dilapidated water services infrastructure. Much of our water and wastewater infrastructure dates back to the Victorian age with many aging and leaky water and sewerage pipes in addition to many of our inadequate drinking water and waste water treatment plants.
This legacy leaves many areas subject to boil notice orders (Roscommon being the most egregious and long standing problem) and larger urban areas facing periodic shortages. The EU has initiated an infringement case against Ireland in relation to 71 wastewater agglomerations. In addition, 38 of the 162 larger urban agglomerations in the country are not meeting wastewater treatment standards under the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive.
Infrastructure shortfalls combined with unpredictable weather patterns exacerbated by climate change subject many areas to high risk of either shortages or flooding episodes. If our water services infrastructure continues to breach EU standards, the quality of our ambient waterways is in jeopardy through excessive water abstractions to meet the needs of the population and pollution of surface and ground waters by insufficiently treated sewage discharges.
This policy paper outlines the Environmental Pillar position in relation to Water Services. It deals with septic tanks, the cost of Irish Water, current water regulation, licencing, fluoridation, water charges and climate change.
Follow the link below for the Environmental Pillar Position on Water Services – June 2015.Environmental Pillar Water Services Policy