The Water Services Act 2013 provided for the establishment of Irish Water as a subsidiary of Bórd Gáis Éireann to be formed and registered under the Companies Act.
A fundamental underpinning of the water reform programme is to ensure that the skills and experience built up over many years in local authorities are put to best use for the long-term benefit of the customer and that there is no negative impact on service to customers during the transition. The Water Services (No.2) Act 2013 transferred statutory responsibility for water services to Irish Water and provided for local authorities to act as agents for Irish Water, with this relationship being expressed through Service Level Agreements. Staff in local authorities, conducting work under these arrangements from 1 January 2014, remain employees of local authorities. As such, no staff transferred from local authority positions to Irish Water. Any employees of Irish Water who came from the local authority sector immediately prior to taking up a post with Irish Water applied for advertised posts and were recruited through a competitive process.