Thursday, 15 October 2020: Irish Water welcomes Tuesday’s Budget announcement by Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD, of record current and non-current funding allocation of €1.4 billion during 2021 for Irish Water. The funding will allow Irish Water to progress projects across the country, delivering jobs, capacity for housing and development and supporting economic growth.
The budget announcement for 2021 is in addition to stimulus packages this year totalling €87 million which allowed Irish Water to undertake a wide range of shovel ready projects to be delivered by the end of 2020 and also to bring forward the commencement date for a number of large infrastructure projects.
The 2020 Budget allocation will allow Irish Water to advance high priority, shovel ready works, including leakage reduction works, sewer upgrades and water and wastewater plant upgrades. This will be done with the support of our supply chain partners across the country who continue to work collaboratively, safely and efficiently with Irish Water, while helping to generate much needed employment for the economy.
Significant project milestones have been met across the country this year, most notably on the Blanchardstown Regional Drainage Scheme, an €88 million investment in wastewater infrastructure for the Greater Dublin Area; the continued upgrade of the Ringsend Wastewater Treatment Plant; the upgrade of the Lee Road Water Treatment Plant; the Courtmacsherry Sewerage Scheme, Co Cork; and the new Castlemaine Wastewater Treatment Plant in Co. Kerry.
Niall Gleeson, Managing Director of Irish Water said:
Looking forward to 2021 we have ambitious plans in place, including new projects in Donegal, Galway, Wexford, Cork, Clare and Arklow which will stop the discharge of raw sewage to the sea. We will also continue our investment in leakage, the removal of schemes from the EPA’s Remedial Action list and the provision of clean, safe drinking water.
Irish Water welcomes the announcement of €1.4 billion in funding for 2021 and an extra €87 million in stimulus packages in 2020 by Minister Darragh O’Brien and the Department for Housing, Local Government and Heritage. We play a key role in delivering water and wastewater infrastructure to meet housing and development needs, address legacy infrastructure deficiencies and are working to improve compliance with environmental standards for schemes across the country.
“Irish Water’s investment plan prioritises protection of public health and key outcomes such as leakage; removing water supplies from the EPA’s Remedial Action List and stopping raw sewage entering rivers, lakes and the sea (untreated agglomerations). Support from Government enables us to make further progress towards these goals.
Irish Water has invested €3.8 billion in water and wastewater infrastructure to the end of 2019 and plans to invest a further €5.2 billion under its Capital Investment Programme from 2020 to 2024 in drinking water and wastewater quality and capacity and new infrastructure. Tuesday’s announcement of €1.4 billion funding allocation by the Minister aligns to the Commission for Regulation of Utilities capital expenditure determination that was recently agreed. Significant capital investment is needed over a sustained period of several decades to address the poor condition of Ireland’s water and wastewater infrastructure.
This announcement is on top of the €43m provided as part of the July stimulus package, amounting to an additional capital package of €87m provided to Irish Water in 2020
The €44m funding package includes:
- €17m to be invested in a range of Irish Water’s national programmes including additional investment in the leakage reduction programme. This will allow Irish Water to deliver further on benefits arising from the July Stimulus funding package by upgrading Irish Water’s aging network and reducing leakage across the network. Irish Water will also invest in the capital maintenance programme to replace failed or failing equipment at water and wastewater treatment plants across the country protecting water supplies to customers nationwide.
- €13m to be invested across Irish Water’s wide portfolio of water and wastewater capital projects including accelerated project delivery. Additional investment in water treatment upgrades will allow Irish Water to reduce the risk of contaminated water supplies to a large number of customers above and beyond those areas originally planned this year. Funding for sewer and wastewater projects will also allow Irish Water to work with the construction industry to recover from the COVID-19 shutdown earlier in 2020.
The funding also allows Irish Water to invest in key equipment upgrades, further deliver regional and national programmes of work to enhance our supplies as well as ensuring the continued planning of key capital projects
During the last investment period, Irish Water removed 81 water supplies from the EPA’s Remedial Action list, replaced or rehabilitated 949km of watermains; provided wastewater treatment for nine locations that were previously discharging raw sewage; and replaced 5,390 ‘backyard’ lead service pipes and 24,166 individual lead service pipes.
Irish Water has invested €3.8 billion in water and wastewater infrastructure to the end of 2019 and plans to invest a further €5.2 billion under its Capital Investment Programme from 2020 to 2024 in drinking water and wastewater quality and capacity and new infrastructure. Significant capital investment is needed over a sustained period of several decades to address the poor condition of Ireland’s water and wastewater infrastructure.
Irish Water’s funding model is made up by way of Exchequer funding through the voted expenditure of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, exchequer sourced debt and also through commercial water charges. There is also a charge for connecting to the water and wastewater networks which funds the associated costs to connect and provide water and/or wastewater capacity. The allocation of these funds are overseen by Irish Water’s financial regulator, the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (‘CRU’). The funds are split between the operational allowance (to cover operations and maintenance costs) and the Capital Investment Plan allowance (to cover capital investment).
Irish Water’s Capital Investment Plan is reviewed, approved and monitored by Irish Water’s financial regulator, the Commission for Regulation of Utilities in line with agreed periods. The latest capital investment plan that has been recently approved covers the period from 2020-2024 and has completed an extensive consultation process with public and private stakeholders during 2018-2019. The building, repair and upgrading of Irish Water’s water treatment plants, wastewater treatment plants, water and sewer network requires a multi-billion euro investment programme over many years.
Irish Water is committed to providing a safe and reliable water supply, protecting the environment and supporting the growth of homes and businesses. Irish Water’s investment plan prioritises key outcomes such as leakage, water supply zones removed from the EPA’s Remedial Action List, areas where there is raw sewage entering the rivers, lakes and the sea (untreated agglomerations), and areas identified by the European Court of Justice under the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive. In preparing the Investment Plan, Irish Water has optimised investment decisions by prioritising the best possible service improvements, while maximising value-for-money.
The list of projects and programmes is continuously being refined based on new and emerging needs and is subject to funding, technical and environmental constraints, as well as statutory approvals
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