Monday 24 July 2017

If we'd started in 2000, there'd be no water mess

Europe wants us to save water, yet there's no incentive to do so by capping the charge until 2019

Taking to the streets: Protesters show their anger during a water charges demonstration in Dublin. Photo: Collins Photos
Taking to the streets: Protesters show their anger during a water charges demonstration in Dublin. Photo: Collins Photos
Sarah Carey

Sarah Carey

Like Alphonso X of Castile, one is always tempted to declare: "Had I been present at the Creation, I would have given some useful hints for the better ordering of the universe".

So for the past year, I've been saying to Fine Gael politicians of my acquaintance - of which there are considerably fewer than you'd think - "Why don't you just keep saying, 'WaterFrameworkDirective, WaterFrameworkDirective, WaterFrameworkDirective'?"

This EU Directive from 2000 contains the core principles behind water charges. I will now quote from this directive. Do not panic. It took me a while to get my head around it, but once you see what it's trying to achieve, you'll understand why we have landed ourselves in such a mess. And when I say "we", I don't mean you and me, but primarily the civil service, and then, politicians from successive governments.

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