Farmers will pay on the double for water as councils retain billing role

Environment Minister Alan Kelly. Photo: Collins
Environment Minister Alan Kelly. Photo: Collins

Martin Ryan

Water volumes used for domestic supply on farms is to be capped, despite a decision to provide unlimited domestic supply at the standard fixed charge for other users.

The volume of water to be allocated on farms is to be determined by the local authorities.

They will continue to bill farmers metre rental of up to €200 per metre per annum, in addition to the €266 that they will be liable for annually to Irish Water. Units of water used over the domestic allowance will incur additional charges

Wells

However, somewhat ironically, farmers with their own wells and septic tanks will now qualify for a payment of €100 per year, even if they are not paying for any Irish Water services.

In common with every other household that registers with the provider, farmers will now be entitled to the annual conservation grant of €100.

In contrast, farmers who do not register - because they have their own supply - may be hit with a fixed charge as notices to register have been sent to all households.

A spokesperson for the Department of the Environment said that "the charging regime for non-domestic use will remain the same as applied under the relevant local authority until reviewed by the Commis sion for Energy Regulation (CER)".

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"Local authorities will continue to bill these customers (for farm useage) as agents of Irish Water until a new regime is put in place.

"The charge on the domestic usage account for farmers will be the relevant capped charge for domestic customers, depending on the household type," added the spokesperson.

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