Water is a precious resource:
With Ireland’s famous amount rain, many of us think we shouldn’t have to worry about water or pay for it as if falls freely from the sky. However, as the debate continues about Irish Water, there is no disagreement that water is a precious resource.
We are very fortunate that Ireland does receive the amount of rainfall that it does, but often it falls where it is not needed. The West gets a considerably wetter weather than the East coast, where over a quarter of the population lives and works.
It is estimated that Dublin only has 1% of surplus water at any point in time. If there is any drought or massive leak, the greater Dublin area will face water stoppages. Ireland is the only OECD country that does not currently pay directly for water usage and as a result is the highest user per capita of water.
VOICE supports the imposition of water charges and the concept of paying for what you use to encourage water conservation as well as pay for the treatment and provision of water. However, we believe that the current tax structure should be amended to ensure that taxpayers do not pay for water through their income taxes or other taxes. The only fee each household should pay for the provision of water is through their water charge, paying for what each of us uses.
We also support measures to ensure that our water and wastewater treatment and delivery system always remains in public hands. This is a national asset and should always remain as one.
However, the provision of drinking water is not the only water we need to be concerned about. Ireland must ensure the effective and environmentally sound treatment of sewerage, monitor and enforce licensed discharges into our sewers, surface water and ground water, and protect the quality of our nation’s streams, rivers and lakes. Water is the life blood of our existence, our food production, our wildlife and our country. We must take urgent measures to protect it and use it wisely.
What is VOICE doing?
- In 2004, VOICE established the Sustainable Water Network (SWAN) to bring together all water-related organisations to participate in the rollout of the Water Framework Directive. SWAN is now a stand-alone organisation of which VOICE is a member and has a representative on the Board of Directors.
- VOICE is on SWAN’s Fracking Study Steering Committee.
- VOICE is investigating the ability of local authorities to effectively monitor and enforce surface water discharge permits.
- VOICE is a member of Irish Water’s Stakeholder Forum
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FACT SHEET –
SEPTIC TANK AND OTHER DOMESTIC SEWERAGE TREATMENT SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS
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