Friday 20 October 2017

Now is the time to resolve water crisis

The report detailed 22 of the 43 urban areas where the planned building of sewage treatment plants had been put back by between six months and three years (Stock photo)
The report detailed 22 of the 43 urban areas where the planned building of sewage treatment plants had been put back by between six months and three years (Stock photo)

The expert commission on domestic public water services will this week make recommendations for a sustainable, long-term funding model for the delivery of domestic water and waste water services by Irish Water.

The recommendations of the expert commission will be considered by a special Oireachtas committee that will try to make its own recommendations to the Oireachtas within three months. The recommendations of the committee will be considered and voted upon by the Oireachtas within a month. It is hoped that the outcome of this process will finally bring to a conclusion one of the most destabilising periods in the modern political history of the State.

In tandem with these developments, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last week reported that the State was "not spending enough" to tackle the problem of raw and inadequately treated sewage discharging into lakes, rivers and coastal areas. The EPA's urban waste water treatment report for 2015 said there were 124 areas where "priority issues" relating to sewage remained to be addressed. Among the 124 are the cities of Dublin, Cork, and Galway, where the quality of treatment is insufficient, and 43 urban areas where sewage is discharged to watercourses without any treatment at all.

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