Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Questions (246)

Martin Browne

Question:

246. Deputy Martin Browne asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage his plans to introduce grants for rainwater harvesting systems in sports centres given that such a scheme would allow centres to significantly reduce their water usage. [8778/21]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

Promoting the efficient and sustainable use of water is a central component of effective water policy. The Water Services Policy Statement 2018-2025 sets out the range of policy objectives across the key thematic areas of quality, conservation and future proofing that will be pursued between now and 2025. The Policy Statement supports the promotion of water conservation and water resource management as an important element of water services policy that is to be reflected in strategic investment planning by Irish Water. For the period of the Policy Statement, this will involve the prioritisation of multifaceted programmes around leak detection and repair, network improvements, cost effective metering, public awareness campaigns and funding to the 'Find and Fix' scheme for addressing domestic customer leaks.

There are no plans at present to introduce a grant scheme along the lines suggested. It is worth noting however that non-domestic customers of Irish Water, including sports centres, currently face charges for water services based on their actual metered consumption and in line with a charging policy determined by the Commission for the Regulation of Utilities. This is in keeping with Ireland's obligations under the Water Framework Directive. It is understood that some sports organisations may already have arrangements in place to capture and store rainwater for use for purposes (such as watering green areas) which do not require potable water. By doing so they are conserving the use of treated water and reducing their water bills.