The Programme for Government includes a commitment that the Government will develop a scheme between local authorities and Irish Water to provide drinking water fountains nationwide to reduce plastic bottle litter.
In addition, EU Directive 2020/2184 (the Drinking Water Recast Directive) as adopted on 16 December 2020 updates the obligations on Member States in relation to the quality of water intended for human consumption. The objective of this Directive is to protect human health from the adverse effects of any contamination of water intended for human consumption by ensuring that it is wholesome and clean, and to improve access to water intended human consumption. In order to promote the use of tap water intended for human consumption, article 16 of the Directive requires that Member States shall ensure that outdoor and indoor equipment is set up in public spaces, where technically feasible, in a manner that is proportionate to the need for such measures and taking into account specific local conditions, such as climate and geography. Member States must transpose article 16 of the Directive by 12 January 2023.
My Department will implement the commitment in the Programme for Government as part of the transposition and implementation of article 16 of Directive 2020/2184, as described above.