Greens: Heat-wave exposes the short-sightedness of Water Charge abolition

30th June 2018



Noonan: Hosepipe ban cannot be policed

The Green Party said today that the prolonged heat-wave across the country has exposed the short-sightedness of Government capitulation on water charges and that a hosepipe ban announced by Irish Water, cannot be policed due to lack of resources.

Speaking following the announcement by Irish Water that a hosepipe ban is to be implemented, Green Party Spokesperson for Local Government, Councillor Malcolm Noonan, said that a mechanism existed in front of almost every home and business in the State that would penalise people for excessive use and incentivise conservation but that Government, backed by Fianna Fáil, acted irresponsibly in not implementing a water pricing regime.

“In my own home County of Kilkenny, we have communities in Bennetsbridge and other areas cut off from mains supply during one of the hottest periods since records began. It is shameful that we had reached a point where a fair regime of water pricing, which incentivised conservation and could identify and reduce leakage, was not seen through by Government.

“A hosepipe ban comes as too little, too late and cannot be policed either by the Gardaí or by local authorities. Dublin water supply is on a knife edge where demand outstripped supply this week. All over the country the failings in our capacity to store and treat water in a Country that has an abundance of it, are being exposed.

“Government capitulated to populism and now communities are paying the price. The metering programme was almost complete and we would have had a fair means of monitoring use and imposing penalties on excessive use. The reality is that as our climate changes, these water shocks will continue and we don’t have a plan to conserve, harvest or levy for the use of our most precious resource. It is a truly shameful situation.”