Comhar voices water concerns

Water will become an increasingly important commodity, with societies finding success in large part due to how smartly they address supply and demand.

That is according to Comhar Sustainable Development Council, a national forum and advisory body set up by the Irish government in 1999.

It warned that the Greater Dublin Area would run out of water in less than ten years unless action is taken now.

According to Comhar, water is currently free at the point of use, but costs approximately Euro 1.2bn annually to deliver.

Frank Convery, chairman of Comhar, said that current policy focuses on piping water 105km from Lough Ree on the River Shannon into Dublin. But he said there are alternatives.

As well as reducing income tax revenue and getting water users to pay directly for operating costs of supply, he also noted that demand could be reduced using price – by installing meters in households and charging for water on a sliding scale.

Formerly the National Sustainable Development Council, Comhar’s 25 members are drawn from the state sector, economic sectors, environmental NGOs, social NGOs and professional/academic sectors.

Arash Hekmat

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