This Is Your Water


Water meter installation in 2014

This afternoon.

The Social Democrats have tabled a Dáil Motion seeking to bring Irish Water under the remit of the Comptroller and Auditor General and calling on the Government ‘to commit to holding a referendum on the ownership of Irish Water’.

To wit:

That Dáil Éireann: recognises that:

Irish Water is a fully State funded entity; currently Irish Water does not fall under the remit of the Comptroller and Auditor General for financial oversight and audit purposes; serious concerns exist regarding the current operation of Irish Water; and the recent boil water notices, and the inadequate responses of Irish Water, have led to grave concerns for the sustainability of a safe water supply in the future.

We call on the Government to: amend the Comptroller and Auditor General (Amendment) Act 1993, to bring Irish Water under the auspices of the Comptroller and Auditor General making it amenable to all reporting guidelines and inspection and audit powers of that Office as provided for in the Act; and commit to the holding of a referendum on the pub lic ownership of Irish Water.

The party are contesting the upcoming by-elections in Dublin Mid-West and Fingal, both areas affected by the recent boil water notices.

Dublin West Soc Dem candidate Anne-Marie McNally said:

“The most recent boil water notices affecting parts of Lucan, Clondalkin and Palmerstown have just added to what has been a long running issue with the water supply to some of these areas. In recent years the water supply was changed from Ballymore Eustace to the Leixlip plant and for the past number of years residents have mounted a campaign to restore the original supply.

We now have issues with cloudy water, a strange smell from the water and a very unpalatable taste. Many people also talk about the impact on the damage that the water is causing to their home appliances.

People need to trust their water supply and until Irish Water is in public ownership, I just don’t think that we will be possible.”


19 thoughts on “This Is Your Water

  1. b

    what nonsense

    for all intents and purposes IW is in public ownership at the moment and we are having constant issues with water quality

    nothing will be solved by an ideological referendum on ownership. It needs proper investment and time to fix legacy issues

    1. martco


      the poor Maltese edge routers must be struggling to facilitate all the outbound ip traffic today, wha?

      1. GiggidyGoo

        Yep. If its not broadband being prepared for their leader, its water. Dilly dilly
        3……2…….1…….. Cian

  2. Cian

    I’d agree that IW should be under the Comptroller and Auditor General (assuming that other semi-states are).

    I’d disagree with a referendum, unless it applies to all semi-states.

    1. martco

      and what’s this new all or nothing “semi-state” spin?

      that one of the latest weapons to be shipped from the FG spin dept. ?

      do you believe FG will get re-elected with this Tory nonsense? is it fun finding ever more inventive ways to justify privatisation of “stuff”? more ppp’ing public things mullarkey? is it good craic there in the FG spin team throwing up the latest modern wheezes ye saw at those righty huddle conferences? is In The Thick Of It standard study material for the newhires? asking for a friend.

      1. ____

        PPP typically isn’t a matter of privatisation, it’s a way of the state borrowing without it appearing on the public balance-sheet.

      2. Cian

        I don’t understand why people think water and sewage should be treated differently to other essential infrastructure – electricity network and generatio , train network, ports, airports, road network, busses. And to a lesser extent bord na mona and coilte (or even Aer lingus back in the day).

        I think these are are essential to Ireland and her people. So, as I said, either all should be protected or none. (Or at least the conversation should be extended to all these other utilities not just water).

        I’ll say it again. I’m not in FG. I’m not paid for this. All opinions expressed are my own (albeit occasionally tongue-in-cheek opinion )

        1. GiggidyGoo

          We need water to sustain life. We can live without the others.

          We don’t need another Nestle or Teneo or Dilly privatizing it for profit.

  3. Panty Christ

    Irish Water is a subsidiary of a semi state. It’s not a semi state in itself. A referendum means it will be wholly publicly owned

  4. ____

    Should the referendum not be to secure the water rights/abstraction rights into public ownership? Rather than the company which happens administer them?

    What would stop the state from dissolving the company and selling off water rights?

    (For the record I’m very in favour of investment in water infrastructure and water charges as a way of doing this. I’d prefer the companies themselves to stay in state ownership, though France has had a lot of success by leasing water rights for short-ish terms, about 20 years, but have iron-clad guarantees of investment and quality…and don’t just give the contracts to their mates.)

  5. some old queen

    Irish Water’s IT systems were set up in a peculiar hived structure- a whistle blower from IBM would be nice?

    You cannot make a profit while serving the common good- France is now finally accepting this common sense.

    1. italia'90

      More than likely it is related to database management if done properly giving priority to an orc file system

      The rumour years ago was that government didn’t know exactly how many houses,apartments,flats,dwellings there actually were in the state and that they needed a new database to model their figures and projections with

      1. some old queen

        The entire company is Dell / Citrix Wise terminals which is fine for call centres but a pain in the backside if the resource load is not balanced correctly. The core asset system is Maximo and a replica of Bord Gáis but, the underlying structure is strange.

        Geo Directory is and even then was the go to data set for residential and commercial properties but what is interesting is that no one seems to know which properties were supplied off mains and which by redundant private schemes- so they just billed them all. If there is ever an outbreak of a nasty like Cryptosporidium at one of those private sites- it could be argued that IW are now responsible.

        There is a urgent need for a full mapping of the national network but that must be state owned with no private interests- government know rightly what the result of a referendum will be- which is why they are resisting it.

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