New water charges system in the pipeline
A complete revision of the charges which farmers pay for public water supplies is being planned, with a new scale of fees to come into effect next year.
Currently a farmer in Co Wicklow using 1,600 cubic metres of water per year is paying €5,384 per annum – €103 per week – while
his next door neighbour, living in Co Kildare is charged €2,784 for the same volume of supply – €53.53 per week.
Irish Water have confirmed that there are 500 different rates of charge for water services for farmers and business people — a system inherited from the local authorities.
The objective is to introduce a uniform rate. It is being planned to phase in the change over a period of years, starting in 2019.
Irish Water have confirmed that the Commission for Regulation of Utilities will complete a public consultation on the proposed new framework and charges before setting a uniform rate of charge.
The cost of a cubic metre of water can vary from €1.59 in Leitrim to €3.04 in Wicklow. Farmer consumers in Co Dublin pay under €2 per cubic metre, while neighbours in Meath pay 33pc more.
Farmers on the Tipperary side of Lough Derg pay €2.40, while across the lake in Clare the charge is €2.89.