New public water utility set to launch in Ireland

Irish Water is set to become an independent state owned subsidiary of Bord Gais Eireann and remain in public ownership, the Irish Government has announced.

The decision of whether the public utility company should be established as a new state agency or remain under the stewardship of an existing state agency, was unveiled by the Irish Government today (April 17).

This followed an assessment which concluded that a public water utility offers Ireland the best opportunity to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of its water services and its best chance of generating investment.

Irish minister for the environment, community and local government, Phil Hogan said that reforming Ireland’s water services is necessary to help meet future economic and environmental needs.

He said: “The overarching objective of the Government’s water reform programme is to put in place structures and funding arrangements that will ensure we have a world class water and waste water infrastructure that meets all environmental and public health standards.

“A good quality and plentiful supply of water is needed to attract foreign direct investment and support job creation and maintenance in key sectors such as pharma-chem, IT and food and drink. Today’s decision is a very positive step forward and will allow the water reforms progress with renewed momentum”.

It is anticipated Irish Water will help attract foreign investment and create up to 2,000 construction jobs, as well as provide system improvements.

An implementation plan is being developed by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government in collaboration with other relevant Government Departments, the local authorities and NewERA and will be finalised shortly.

Carys Matthews

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