I propose to take Questions Nos. 353 and 357 together.
The Water Sector Reform Implementation Strategy, which is published on my Department’s website, is focused on ensuring that appropriate policy and legal frameworks are put in place for Irish Water and the water sector. A key objective of the Government in establishing Irish Water is to provide a mechanism to finance necessary capital investment in the sector, and accelerate the delivery of such investment. Irish Water will be working in partnership with local authorities to achieve its aims. It is envisaged that in developing investment plans for public water services, Irish Water will take account of the requirements flowing from the programmes of measures in River Basin Management Plans, and the need to support economic and regional development. The relationship between Irish Water and local authorities in the water services investment planning process and in relation to local economic development will be addressed under the Implementation Strategy. These are matters which will be developed as part of the comprehensive legislation planned for later this year and will be covered in related guidelines where required.