Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Questions (496)

Nicky McFadden

Question:

496. Deputy Nicky McFadden asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if the working relationship that exists between the group water scheme sector and local authorities will remain in place following the establishment of Irish Water; if capital and subsidy supports to the GWS sector will be protected; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31507/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

Under the Water Sector Reform Programme the primary focus of Irish Water will be on the delivery of services to customers on the public water and wastewater networks. My Department will remain responsible for the overall policy, and funding where appropriate, of the non-public sector, including the group water sector.

In order to facilitate the establishment of a new public water utility to take over responsibility for the delivery of water services, a number of work-streams have been set up under the Water Sector Reform Programme to assist with the transition of services to Irish Water. One such work-stream is dealing specifically with issues relating to the Group Water Sector. The objectives of this work-stream are to ensure that there is clarity of roles and responsibility for the group wat er sector and other components of the Rural Water Programme and to develop a medium term strategy for the sector.

I expect that this work will be completed shortly and that the issues that are identified in the question will be resolved satisfactorily. Furthermore, it is anticipated that local authorities will continue to have a strong working relationship with the group water sector.