My Department builds its strategic water policy and infrastructure delivery programmes around the National Planning Framework 2018-2040 and the National Development Plan 2018-2027.
Investment is primarily delivered through Irish Water while my Department operates the Rural Water Programme directly. The Programme for Government supports the uptake of Irish Water's Small Towns and Villages Growth Programme 2020-2024, which will provide water and wastewater growth capacity in smaller settlements that would otherwise not be provided for in Irish Water's capital investment plan.
Complementary to Irish Water’s Programme, my Department is currently examining wastewater requirements in the context of villages and settlements that do not have public wastewater infrastructure. I have instructed the relevant officials in my Department to prepare a report on this topic at national level. This report will include the analysis of a baseline survey of all rural local authorities to quantify and qualify the number of villages and settlements concerned. I will be in a position to provide further update once I have received this report.