12 Apr 2017, 12.12
The Committee on the Future Funding of Domestic Water Services has published its final report which was agreed on 11 April 2017.
The report deals with: funding; the role of regulators and compliance with EU law; equity and fairness; metering; conservation; and public engagement and transparency.
Committee Chairman Senator Pádraig Ó Céidigh said: “It is fair to say that, for a variety of reasons, as a State we have neglected our public water services over many years. This can be seen, for example, in terms of the lack of a proper level of funding of those services over the years, and the lack of reliability and poor performance of parts of the services. It is clear that we require a vastly improved approach to how we finance, manage and use our water services in a sustainable way over the medium and long-term.
The task before the Joint Committee was challenging given the strong opinions that issues relating to the organisation and funding of our water services had generated in recent years. The Members of the Committee represented the full spectrum of views in this regard. The Report of the Expert Commission on Domestic Water Services highlighted the scale of the shortcomings of our current services and the steps that need to be taken to address them.
In addressing the issues involved, the Joint Committee had to consider the many dimensions to the problem, including the legal framework – both national and EU – that needed to be observed, the regulatory regime that has oversight of the sector, the funding challenge, the need for environmental sustainability, and the need for prudence in the use of water services.
The recommendations of the Joint Committee provide a comprehensive, balanced and sustainable approach to addressing the challenges of our public water services. The work of the Committee was one part of an overall process. The report has now been forwarded to the Houses of the Oireachtas for their consideration. I am confident that its recommendations will provide the basis for a full consideration of the issues by the Houses of the Oireachtas, and by the Government.”
The report can be accessed here.
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