The EPA Urban Wastewater report highlights how spectacularly dishonest Fine Gael and Labour’s plan for Irish Water was and how communities all over Ireland are paying the price environmentally and economically for their fiasco.
The EPA report reflects the status of over 1,000 schemes across Ireland and the lack of investment in recent years in wastewater treatment plants.
Using the EPA figures, published today, it is clear that between 2000 and 2010 €270m was invested annually in wastewater infrastructure in Ireland. From 2011 to 2013 Govenment reduced investment in wastewater infrastructure by 50% to €136m.
When creating Irish Water Fine Gael and Labour promised to increase investment in water infrastructure and improve the quality and security of water supply. Yet since they established Irish Water the Government’s investment in wastewater only increased to €166m still failing to even match the €270million that was being spent annually between 2000 and 2010.
When setting-up Irish Water Fine Gael and Labour squandered almost €1billion on domestic water meters, consultancy services and a counterproductive “water conservation grant”.
The provision of a secure, affordable and sustainable water supply is hugely critical both economically and environmentally for Ireland as an island country. Clearly Fine Gael and Labours plan failed to deliver on its inflated promises.
It is incumbent on all parties in the Dáil to take note of the EPA report and to heed their call for greater investment. All parties should engage with the expert commission on water to agree a sustainable long-term plan that will provide every community with secure and reliable drinking water and adequate wastewater treatment and drainage.