Greens: Fianna Fáil water plan would lead to 165,000 court cases

5th March 2017

Fianna Fáil would rather a court conviction and €5,000 fine than a per-litre charge

The Green Party said today that Fianna Fáil’s plan to prosecute wasters of water could lead to up to 165,000 court cases, and that charging people per-litre of water wasted was a much fairer mechanism.

Speaking today, Green Party Leader Eamon Ryan TD said: “The lack of consistency in Fianna Fáil’s position is astounding. They propose using the Water Services Act 2007 to prosecute waster of water. The evidence from the Water Committee shows that 10% of households use 40% of domestic water. Based on CSO figures on the number of households in the country, this would amount to over 165,000 households. Are Fianna Fáil really proposing pursuing all of these households through the courts?

“They also insist on an end to metering. Which doesn’t square with their Water Services Act idea. How are they going to prosecute people without measuring their consumption? District metering, while effective for detecting leaks, won’t be sufficient for this.

“Fianna Fáil need to drop the populism, and put good public policy before politics. We have 60% of water meters installed – let’s use them, in addition to district metering, to detect leaks, measure consumption, and monitor waste. Charging continued waste of water per-litre is much fairer than a court appearance and potential €5,000 euro fine. Fianna Fáil need to be challenged on their inconsistent policies.”