I propose to take Questions Nos. 442 and 443 together.
Responsibility for the administration of the Rural Water Programme, which includes group water schemes, group sewerage schemes and small public water and sewerage schemes, has been devolved to local authorities since 1997.
The selection and approval of individual scheme proposals for advancement and funding under the programme, within the overall priorities set by my Department and subject to the block grant allocations provided, is therefore a matter for the water services authorities.
The block grant allocations provided by my Department to the water services authorities are based, in the first instance, on the requests for funding received from the water services authorities at the beginning of each year. There may also be some additional allocations, or variations to existing allocations, during the course of the year based on responses from the authorities to any reviews of expenditure which may be carried out.
Decisions on the block grant allocations for each authority under the programme in 2013 will be made as soon as possible following examination of the requests for funding that have been received by my Department.
A provision of €35 million is available under the programme this year towards group water schemes, group sewerage schemes and small public water and sewerage schemes.