Sinn Féin spokesperson on Environment, Community and Local Government, Brian Stanley TD said today, “Minister Hogan's plans to put a water meter into every home in Ireland is an expensive and useless exercise.”
Deputy Stanley was responding to reports that the pilot surveys are proving that Hogan’s plan is unworkable.
“Since the announcement in January that water meters were to be introduced Sinn Féin said the plan was fraught with problems. It is clear that Hogan's water metering project is going down the drain.
“The meters were to be installed this year with the promise of thousands of jobs. Now it has come to light that there will be no meters installed until 2016. Sinn Féin continues to propose credible, achievable alternatives including the expansion of district water metering which is far more efficient and cost effective than installing domestic water meters in every household.
“This allows for local authorities to monitor water usage and leakage at neighbourhood level. It has been very successful in my own constituency of Laois Offaly.”
Sinn Fein proposes:
1. Tackle leakage at source. The States water distribution system is antiquated. 41% of water is lost through leakage. Return to 2011 level of capital spending on the water system. Irish Academy of Engineers estimates the cost of installing domestic meters to be €500m. This money should be diverted into capital investment.
2. Action on commercial water rates. Only 52% of commercial rates are collected. This deficit is causing financial difficulties for councils. The government must take action to recoup the outstanding money owed to local authorities.
3. Establish a National Water Sector Framework Team. This team, at no extra cost to the public, would oversee governance and capital investment for the sector.
In conclusion Deputy Stanley said, “Minister Hogan needs to scrap his plans to introduce domestic water meters and introduce district metering. It is the only sensible option.”