Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Questions (77)

Mick Wallace

Question:

77. Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government his views on the wait times for Irish Water to acknowledge, process and communicate final decisions regarding pre-connection applications for sewerage and water; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26820/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Housing)

The Water Services Acts 2007-2017 set out clearly the arrangements in place for the delivery of water and wastewater services by Irish Water, including pre-application for sewerage and water services, and further set out the scrutiny and oversight provisions that apply in respect of these arrangements.  Since 1 January 2014, Irish Water has statutory responsibility for all aspects of the planning, delivery and operation of water and wastewater services at national, regional and local levels, and is independent in the exercise of its statutory functions and in relation to day to day operational matters.

The Water Services (No. 2) Act 2013 provides that responsibility for the independent economic regulation of the water sector is assigned to the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) which has statutory responsibility for protecting the interests of customers.   An important aspect of the CRU’s work is ensuring that Irish Water’s revenue is spent appropriately to improve services for customers. To facilitate this, in November 2016, the CRU (formerly known as the Commission for Energy Regulation) outlined a framework of 19 key performance metrics against which it would monitor Irish Water’s performance and progress over time. The metrics cover customer service, environmental performance, quality of service for water supply, security of water supply and sewerage service. Monitoring Irish Water’s performance relative to these metrics will facilitate an evaluation by the CRU in this regard. It also ensures that transparent data becomes available to customers through the publication of performance data.

The position therefore in relation to pre-connection applications for sewerage and water services, is that such applications are an operational matter for Irish Water, subject to independent oversight by the CRU as appropriate.  

If Deputies have any queries on specific issues in relation to water services, Irish Water has established a dedicated team to deal with representations and queries from public representatives.  The team can be contacted via email to oireachtasmembers@water.ie or by telephone on a dedicated number, 1890 578 578.