Tag Archives: Irish Water

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy

Sarah Bardon, in The Irish Times, reports:

Irish Water is to be separated from Ervia and established as a single national utility to operate the State’s water services.

The proposals, which were presented to Cabinet by Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy last Thursday for approval, will come into effect by 2023, The Irish Times has learned.

It is understood the plans, approved by Cabinet, will allow for Irish Water to become solely responsible for the production, distribution and monitoring of drinking water and for the provision of public waste-water services.

Currently the utility has service level agreements (SLAs) with local authorities to operate such services on its behalf, but under these new proposals such arrangements would be brought to an end by 2021.

Irish Water to become single national utility (The Irish Times)

Yesterday.

Blessington Lakes reservoir, County Wicklow

Dominic Price tweetz:

Panorama of Blessington Lakes – lots of water in Blessington, rivers flowing too – levels lower but not that serious. Capacity, lack of planning by politicians & leaks, leaks, leaks the problem….

But, but, but what if it never rains again?

FIGHT!

UPDATE:

We’re saved!

County Offally this afternoon.

Rollingnews

UPDATE:

Privatise this!

This afternoon.

Curragh Plains, County Kildare.

Rollingnews

‘Report a Leak’ message Irish Water this Summer: Lawyer and activist Emma Kennedy

So.

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.

Mains supply awash with leaks behind Dublin water ‘shortage’ (Emma Kennedy, Irish Times)

Hmm.

This afternoon

Fergus writes:

Irish Water at it again aided and abetted by RTÉ fupping News…

A drought in Ireland after a few days? Do they take us for complete idiots?

Anyone?

Irish Water lowers night-time water pressure in Dublin as heatwave continues (RTÉ)

Right2Water writes:

Today we learned the sad news that one of the worlds greatest intellectuals, Stephen Hawking, has died. He once said:

“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.”

So when Ronan Lyons, a senior economist says that water charges would have prevented water shortages, one would question whether this erroneous statement is through ignorance, or through assumed knowledge.

When people with actual expertise in this matter came to Ireland to talk about our water crisis, they were completely ignored.

Not one media outlet interviewed Maude Barlow or covered the two speeches she made.

Maude, if you don’t know, has written four books on water and was an advisor to the UN on water, along with dozens of other accolades.

She is widely recognised as one of he worlds leading experts on water. Her statement simply didn’t fit the medias and right-wing agenda.

“The Irish system of paying for water and sanitation services through progressive taxation and non-domestic user fees, is an exemplary model of fair equitable and sustainable service delivery for the entire world”

When the European Water Movement, the activists who are battling against water shut-offs and water poverty all across Europe released their statement on the water privatisation agenda in Ireland, they were also completely ignored.

“It is clear that the best method of securing access to water, and securing funds for infrastructural investment, is through general taxation.

“The European Water Movement views the struggle of the Irish people to abolish water charges, and to secure a referendum enshrining public ownership of Ireland’s water system, as yet more evidence of a real European people’s movement to democratise water management.”

When Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director for Food and Water watch provided the Irish media with some relevant and valuable information about water, again, ignored. Remember, Wenonah is based in a country where up to 70,000 families had their water shut off in one city alone, Detroit.

“Metering and water pricing, the policies that many economists have advocated for encouraging conservation, is a wrong minded strategy.”

“This market-oriented pricing reform is fundamentally flawed. It assumes that households can or will reduce water use when faced with metering and higher prices. However, residential water use is a small fraction of water withdrawals and even draconian water price increases will have little impact on household water consumption.

For most households, water goes towards essential uses like drinking, cooking and sanitation; consumer demand for water does not really change, regardless of price.

Economists call this price inelasticity. Consumers will not drink twice as much water if the price of water falls by half, nor will they reduce the amount of water they drink by half if the price of water doubles. A Food & Water Watch review of the economic literature found only a very modest consumer response to rising water prices. Households generally reduce water use slightly in the face of even steep price increases.”

Maybe we don’t get balanced coverage because the Irish media, who are currently struggling to make a profit, with many relying on paid advertorials from the government, were also receiving up to €3 million per year in advertising revenue from Irish Water?

Even when the government’s own “expert commission on water” published the facts and figures behind our water usage – supporting what Right2Water Ireland has been saying for years – the line from the media was that we need water charges.

Put simply, water can be paid for through three distinct methods:

1. Metered domestic charges (England, France)
2. Local rates (Northern Ireland, Scotland)
3. General taxation (Republic of Ireland)

The question everyone should be asking is, which is the optimum method of paying for water from an environmental, economic and social perspective.

With abstraction charges, effective commercial water charges and government subvention, Ireland can ensure we never have water poverty while at the same time providing the badly needed investment in our water infrastructure.

Don’t let ill informed ‘know-it-all’ economists or the media spin their ignorance or their propagenda in pursuit of a neo-liberal policy of water commodification and financialisation.

They did it in housing, health, education and other sectors of our society with devastating impacts, let’s keep our water out of their ideology and their ideology out of our water, and let’s not make the mistakes that the rest of the world has already made – and is paying for now.

Oh, and if you protested against the introduction of water charges, you are a hero, and you should be proud.

Do not let them blame you for water shortages, that responsibility is entirely down to those who refuse to tackle the real wasters (commercial enterprises) and those who cut funding for water infrastructure (Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, Labour and the Green Party).

Now, can we please stop the waste of money on meters, advertising, call centres, consultants, etc, and use the savings to fix the damn pipes?

And finally, sign the petition and call on your local TD’s to support a referendum on water ownership.

It’s Fake News Time Again In Pursuit Of Water Charges And The Privatisation Of Water (Right2Water)

.

Irish Water Managing Director Jerry Grant (middle) and Brendan Ogle of Right2Water

This afternoon.

Further to restrictions by Irish Water amid claims by managing director Jerry Grant that some householders may be leaving taps running in the cold weather.

The country saw a “spike” of 10%-20% of waterd demand during Storm Emma.

Brendan Ogle writes:

Taps running?

Bull.

The Irish Water propaganda unit are in full flow again. Never an outfit to waste a good crisis, last week;s freeze has been turned into an opportunity to perpetuate the ‘wasteful consumer’ lies through an all-too willing media.

Yes folks the water privatisation quest continues.

I don’t believe a word of it.

The expert commission on water found zero evidence that the Irish wasted water and did in fact confirm Right2Water’s research that households used significantly less than our U.K. neighbours.

What waste was found was, not surprisingly, related to leaks.

Of course there was more water used last week. A ‘spike’, as they call it. That’s because, hmm let me have a think about this…

EVERYBODY WAS AT HOME!

More food cooked, kettles boiled, showers run, maybe some ‘waster’ had a bath (hang on for a confession), kids out playing in the snow coming in rotten dirty. It’s not complicated.

Then of course we know the system leaks like a colander anyway, so imagine what the freezing weather has done to the leaks?

And yes, algae has arrived early in the Vartry reservoir [Roundwood, County Wicklow] so that is causing issues too.

There was similar weather across the U.K. last week. Not only did it not lead to interminable news coverage of it but guess what, it’s caused problems with their water system too.

Yet nobody is blaming the citizens over there. No privatisation agenda you see, they already did it. With disastrous results for consumers.

So I’m not buying a word of this nonsense about wasters running taps.

But here’s that confession:

‘Bless me Irish Water for I sinned,
It’s been three months since my last bath
But last Sunday I had one
Because I wanted one
I didn’t even need one
I just wanted one
And I loved it
The Radox smelled lovely
For these and all my baths I am very sorry’

Brendan Ogle is a Right2Water Co-Ordinator, Unite’s Political, Education and Community co-ordinator. and blogs every Thursday here.

Rollingnews

April 2015

Elizabeth Arnett, head of communications at Irish Water, with Alen Kelly, then Minister for the Environment, defend the Irish Water shambles.

Yesterday

Elizabeth Arnett, now head of corporate strategy at Ulster Bank, defends the institute’s tracker policy described as “robbery’ at a Joint Public Accounts Committee yesterday.

Good times.

Ulster Bank CEO absence blasted at hearing (Irish Examiner)

Anon writes:

“So Irish Water texted me for a refund, but I have never registered. So where did they get my phone number? It’s unlinked on the Electoral Register…”

Hmm.

Anyone?