Please let me pay for water in Ireland
Water charges have been much in the news in recent months and have been debated by politicians, economists and the 'commentariat'. Surely no other sector of our society is better placed than engineers to consider the arguments and determine the path forward?
We have a perception problem with water services in
Ireland. The general public has forgotten what it was like
to rely on the village pump; or to have no indoor toilet
facilities. We have forgotten what miracles are worked
every day to produce clean wholesome public drinking
water and to deliver it to over 1.25m domestic dwellings
every minute of every day of every year. We have chosen
to ‘flush and forget' and never consider what it takes to clean
that water so that we can bath safely in our rivers and bays.
A service that is provided for free is defined as ‘slavery';
and the quality of the service will degrade. Please let me
pay for water. Then I know who to blame if the service is
poor; and who to thank for the good service. To prevent
me paying for water is a denial of my human rights.
In paying directly to the local authority for water services,
we can start to rebuild an awareness of the value of water
among the community. We may then have a better chance of
communicating the message that water is a precious resource.
I am willing to pay €10 a week to have clean drinking water
pumped into my house for my family and to have the waste
water taken away and cleaned for me. It is a lot better value
than a couple of pints of stout on a Friday night.