Last Updated: 05 May 2011
Tuesday, 3rd May 2011
Schedule for Introduction of Domestic Water Meters Must be Fast-Tracked
Chambers Ireland has today (03/05/11) noted with disappointment reports that the Government will introduce flat rate water charges instead of residential water meters as committed to in the Programme for Government.
Seán Murphy, Chambers Ireland Deputy Chief Executive said, “The move towards the full implementation of a user pays principle is a positive step, however, in order to achieve real measurable savings water meters must be installed in all Irish households.”
“The introduction of user charges on a sliding scale based on consumption would result in water consumers becoming more mindful of water usage. It would also enable water providers to have a more predictable source of income to fund infrastructure investments and reduce the high levels of unaccounted for water loss in the Irish water system. Whilst flat rate charges will result in increased revenue, there is no incentive for users to monitor and adjust usage patterns.”
“The schedule for the installation of water meters must be brought forward via an incentivisation scheme for householders that will enable roll out within the time frame of 2012/2013 specified to meet EU/IMF requirements, change domestic user habits and provide much-needed employment opportunities to many of those who lost their jobs in the construction sector.”
“Finally, this new revenue line opening for water providers cannot be allowed to distract focus away from the need for more cost-containment measures from Local Authorities as identified in reports such as the Local Government Efficiency Review Group with a view to reducing pressure on the business community,” Murphy concluded.