Glass Always Full

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Anyone?

Wednesday: Charges for excessive usage of water approved by commission

Thanks Mick Caul

60 thoughts on “Glass Always Full

  1. Panty Christ

    I heard Irish water are going to use cue sticks to determine if someone is “over using” water if they don’t have a water meter installed

  2. eoin

    That’s shocking so it is, and Leo proudly offering Ballygowan to visitors at his offices at Government Buildings.

    Next, we’ll find out that Diageo is paying fupp all for all the Irish water it extracts to use in Guinness etc.

    And don’t even get me started on Coca Cola (and their River Rock brand of single use environmental terrorism).

    1. D

      Have a look at what Intel go through in Leixlip, it makes ballygowan look like saints. They have to report it as environmental impact so the numbers are out there.

  3. newsjustin

    I dunno. Ballygowan extract, treat and bottle the water themselves. Water is free. It’s clean, treated drinking water and handling of our waste water that’s not free.

    Companies that use treated water (The same water householders use) from the mains should , of course, pay. I’m not sure Ballygowan are in the same boat.

    1. ____

      The water itself doesn’t belong to them.
      It’s a state asset and a limited one, which is why abstraction is (in theory…) strictly controlled.

      1. newsjustin

        I imagine it’s akin to oil and gas. The water belongs to the state. It is extracted by a private company. I agree, Irish Water, EPA and Limerick City and County Council should know how much is being extracted.

    2. b

      this ^

      typical deflection from the anti-water charges crowd

      if any household has huge water needs there is nothing stopping them from building their own well or collecting rainwater on their own land rather than use the public mains

    3. eoin

      Imagine if we allowed oil companies to come in and extract oil for free.

      I’m sure FG will take the opportunity following the exposé of this scandal to kill two birds with one stone. By imposing massive mineral (water) extraction rights on the likes of C&C, Diageo and Coca Cola, we can deter the use of single-use plastic as well as giving the Exchequer a nice €100 million a year boost. Win-win.

      1. b

        why should i imagine it – it doesn’t happen

        water is a resource but it is plentiful in this country, what is costly is the extraction and delivery infratstructure – that’s what people pay for to get the clean stuff coming out the tap

  4. ____

    Pretty annoying, but hard to see what can be legally be done as it’s already agreed to.
    FWIW, this is the result of not having proper regulations in place in time.

    Fun fact, Guinness uses huge amounts of city water for approx. €5 per year.

      1. ____

        re: guinness, it’s not really intentional.

        There was originally a SMALL stream running through st. James’s gate, soon after the brewery set up the council decided to divert it (as part of unrelated improvements). Arthur guinness got mad and started being a bit of a thug by going in and wrecking their stuff, demanding that he had the right to it. The council caved and said “fine just use city water and pay a token fee”. Now 200+ years later they use infinitely more than that fetid stream could hold.

        …and now their tour talks about how their water supply “is piped from a source in the Wicklow Mountains”.

    1. eoin

      So there’s a water shortage in Dublin (according to Irish Water) and Diageo are extracting as much as they like of the stuff and paying €5 a year. Yeah, that sounds about right for FG.

        1. eoin

          If we’re playing that game we can challenge land seizures during the Cromwellian campaign (3.5 times as old as the state).

          1. ____

            If I wanted to play this game, I’d point out how us caving in to self-righteous people acting like thugs to avoid paying water charges seems to be nothing new…boom.

            (of course would be silly, because protests didn’t kill water charges – the ECB did when they said that Irish Water loans would count as part of calculations on our national debt, but that’s another matter).

        2. SOQ

          So? If your electricity or gas supplier can change their tariffs then why can’t your water provider?

          1. ____

            Because it’s written into the contract you have with them (subject to approval by the regulator). The Guinness lease had no such clause.

          1. SOQ

            I lived under the down wind of Guinness for years and it definitely smells- how such a small portion of such a large land parcel could spew so much stink onto the Quays is still a mystery.

          2. SOQ

            My neighbour had COPD- never smoked but sold after the property rise- it’s all diesel diesel diesel so.

  5. Zetorzzg

    I think you may have misunderstood the term Abstract which they mean as pumping the water from their own well which is connected to an underground aquifer. All home owners with their own well don’t pay for water from underground rivers or aquifers nor are you charged for water collected on your own roof. There maybe a planning condition on the max they can abstract if the resource is shared with other large water users such as Irish Water or for other environmental reasons
    https://www.ballygowan.ie/our-water/ballygowan-water-source/

    1. ____

      Ah, didn’t realise it’s an aquifer.

      Odd though…
      1. because Ireland has very few aquifers of a notable size and any big enough to supply a bottling plant is pretty rare.

      2. any aquifer that’s big enough must extend far, far beyond their land…can they really be said to own it then?

        1. ____

          I wonder what the legal position would be. If the water is essentially flowing through their land (albeit underground through porous materials) then is it different in principle to a river where ownership of the surrounding land infers no ownership of the water.

  6. max

    I dont think the ‘normal’ residents on wells have to pay an any over usage fee, and i assume ballygowan are not bottling tap water so i dont really see the issue here. I do seem to remember that some whiskey still was up in arms over irish water tried to bill them 320k when some hick county councillor gave them assurances that they could have all the water for free back when the concils ran things

    1. SOQ

      The rates councils charge to commercial users vary extensively from council to council and even, within a single council area from customer to customer. Irish Water are tasked with drawing up a standard billing matrix which will apply across the entire country.

      In this particular case- meaning commercial usage- it is right and proper that there is a national TRANSPARENT charging structure which treats all businesses exactly the same. Why should one business have such an unfair advantage over another?

  7. phil

    when I hear the governemnt say they are ‘pro business’ , Ive always assumed that means they are anti-citizen …

  8. eoin

    Anyone know how many hundreds of millions (billions?) of litres Diageo (the British company which owns Guinness) extracts every year in the Dublin area, which, according to Irish Water is facing water shortages that are so serious they’re seriously considering the cockamamie plan to build a pipe from the Shannon.

    1. Cian

      Anyone know how many hundreds of millions (billions?) of euro Diageo (the British company which owns Guinness) pays in wages, rates, and duty each year in Ireland?

      1. SOQ

        Given that they are a brewery and that all of their products are largely made of water therefore very high volumes consumed- why should some employers get free water while others have to pay the going rate?

        Do those other employers not pay wages, rates, and duty each year in Ireland too?

        1. Cian

          Do those other employers not pay wages, rates, and duty each year in Ireland too?

          Yes, yes, and no.

          1. Cian

            Duty on alcohol, tobacco and oil. AFAIK only the first is produced here.
            Yoy are right – I should have said *most* employers don’t pay duty (so exclude brewers and distillers).

  9. millie st murderlark

    I support water charges in theory. I was always taught that water is precious. It’s one thing I don’t mind paying, actually, maintenance of a functional and fit for purpose facility.

    But this is Ireland and we don’t do things that way, so in practice, it’s a lot harder to support water charges.

  10. shortforbob

    It takes a special combination of stupid and pretentious to use the word dichotomy and spell it wrong.

  11. Truth in the News

    Limerick County Council are mot the owners of the Ballygowan extraction site so
    how could they charge for water extracted, it is doubtful if the Government can charge
    either, as Water Aquifers are not covered in the Minerals and Development Acts
    The only area covering abstraction was mentioned in the Water Framework Documentation
    specific to the North West Region, it was not mentioned for the rest of the other regions
    It is strange that Guiness are paying a nominal fee, yet the ESB are being paid millions
    for water taken from the Liffey by Irish Water and there is a proposal to pay the ESB
    40 M p/a for water taken from the Shannon as part of the pipeline project
    Incidentally do Limerick County Council buy Ballygowan Water instead of using tap
    water from Irish Water and the same goes for Government

  12. eoin

    Sounds like we desperately need an amendment to the Minerals and Development Acts to include water extraction, with an exemption for private residential water usage. Well done James Moore, how have we missed this for so long especially during the debate on water charges. By introducing commecial water licensing fees, we might be able to address water shortages in Dublin, generate 10s of millions for the Exchequer and cut down on the use of single use plastic bottles.

    1. SOQ

      Absolutely- we hear so much about how much the small man or woman should be using but has there ever been any analysis of businesses and how efficient their usage is? And if they are getting it for free then why would they bother anyways?

      Irish Water know fine rightly where the majority of non wasted water is going and it is to commercial businesses. Surely there are international templates or metrics that can be applied? We are a relatively wet country after all so other places must be way ahead in this game.

    2. Brian Gould

      Read Article 10 of the Irish Constitution it says Mines, Minerals, and WATER belong to the State (Irish Government)

        1. Cian


          ARTICLE 10
          1 All natural resources, including the air and all forms of potential energy, within the jurisdiction of the Parliament and Government established by this Constitution and all royalties and franchises within that jurisdiction belong to the State subject to all estates and interests therein for the time being lawfully vested in any person or body.
          2 All land and all mines, minerals and waters which belonged to Saorstát Éireann immediately before the coming into operation of this Constitution belong to the State to the same extent as they then belonged to Saorstát Éireann.
          3 Provision may be made by law for the management of the property which belongs to the
          State by virtue of this Article and for the control of the alienation, whether temporary or
          permanent, of that property.
          4 Provision may also be made by law for the management of land, mines, minerals and waters acquired by the State after the coming into operation of this Constitution and for the control of the alienation, whether temporary or permanent, of the land, mines, minerals and waters so acquired.

  13. Ron

    Doesn’t matter what they do anyway. Lazy Irish electorate love the scams FG being to everyday business in Ireland. FG could literally walk door to door and deposit a poopy-lumpkin-pie on the faces of the electorate and the electorate would probably thank them and vote for them

    The freak show that is Irish politics and all the scandals that are associated with it can be broken down in to one root cause analysis: The electorate. The broken water pipes can be fixed but you can’t fix silly-billy boo boos… business as usual so.

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