‘Report a Leak’ message Irish Water this Summer: Lawyer and activist Emma Kennedy
Hose to blame?
Lawyer and activist Emma Kennedy, who opposes the Shannon-Dublin water pipeway, writes:
One thing is clear: this isn’t about a lack of water.
Every day Irish Water puts twice as much water into the system as is actually needed – because more water is wasted through leaks than is used by all the households and industry in Ireland put together.
…Far more water is lost through network leakage (Irish Water’s responsibility) than by households, yet the narrative has seen the finger of blame pointing fairly definitively towards the householder.
The implication is of excessive use, of waste. This is misplaced.
People in Ireland use considerably less water per head than the European average. The latest First Fix report shows that once householders are notified about leaks on their properties their response is outstanding
Irish Water has repaired 8 per cent of the leaks identified; householders themselves have repaired 36 per cent, despite no financial incentive to do so.
Household leakage was cut by almost 40 million litres in just two years: the target was 11 million in 39 years. Householders didn’t just meet their leakage target: they smashed it.
In stark contrast, Irish Water is nowhere near meeting its own target. Between 2011 and 2021 it was meant to reduce network leakage from 205 to 166 million litres.
Two-thirds of the way through that window, network leakage is now higher than it was in the first place at 207 million litres.
There you go now.