Using 2007 Act to prosecute water wasters ‘not credible’
The Green Party today rubbished Fianna Fáil proposal to use the 2007 Water Services Act to prosecute households that waste water. The party said that using meters to identify households that use excessive water remains the fairest and simplest option, a position it has held as other parties have flip-flopped on the issue.
Yesterday, the independent think tank, PublicPolicy.ie, published a conclusion that similarly dismissed the Fianna Fáil plans and called meters to be used. The think tank, whose chairman is Professor Frank Convery, Chairman of the UCD Earth Institute in University College Dublin, concluded: "It is simply not credible to hold that perhaps up to 50,000 cases for excessive uses of water could be taken in the District Court (23 districts)."
This follows a survey of 1,029 people from Ireland Thinks, published last week, that found that 78% of the public agreed with water charges for those who waste water.
Speaking today, Green Party Leader Eamon Ryan TD said: “Fianna Fáil’s obsession with playing politics with this issue, in an attempt to get one over on Sinn Féin and the AAA-PBP, is remarkable. They would rather criminalise tens of thousands of households by dragging them through the courts, rather than use the water meters already installed to identify households with leaks and help them fix them. The water committee heard that 5% of households use a third of all water, most probably through leaks. Fianna Fáil’s proposals have been exposed as lacking credibility and common sense.
“The Green Party’s position on water has been consistent for a decade. We will continue to advocate for penalties for wasters of water. The water meters have been installed in 60% of properties. We have a huge job to do in detecting and repairing leaks both in the public network and on private properties. We have obligations under the Water Framework Directive. It is not rocket science as to what needs to be done here. Fianna Fáil, however, have abandoned any semblance of good public policy in favour of easy answers and populism.”