Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Questions (269)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

269. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government when changes will be implemented to the water well private grant scheme (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50561/19]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

There is a grant currently available, which is funded by my Department through the local authorities, for the provision or necessary improvement of an individual water supply in a house.  This is more commonly called the individual or private wells grant. The grant, subject to certain conditions, assists households dependent on these supplies with the costs incurred in providing such a supply of water for domestic purposes or rectifying serious deficiencies with an existing supply.

Details are available from the local authority concerned or on my Department's website at the following link: www.housing.gov.ie/water/water-services/rural-water-programme/private-wells.

Earlier this year I announced details of the new Multi-Annual Rural Water Programme 2019-2021. This included an improved funding scheme for individual wells and work is at an advanced stage of development for this scheme. The changes that I have approved to the individual wells grant scheme are as follows:

- A maximum grant for rehabilitation works of €3,000 (which represents an increase of 47% on the current maximum grant amount), or where the local authority agrees that the most appropriate solution is to provide a new well, a maximum grant of €5,000;

- Recognising the role of the grant in improving quality, the water treatment element (typically filtration and UV filtration) will qualify for 100% funding up to a maximum of €1,000;

- Up to 85% of other costs would be met, subject to the total combined maximum costs of €3,000 for well rehabilitation or €5,000 for a new well.

I expect that the procedures for applying under this new scheme will be completed shortly when the necessary regulations dealing with the financial assistance arrangements and related administrative matters are put in place.  This will enable circular letters, terms and conditions, guidance and the application forms to issue to local authorities.