Tuesday, 3 July 2018
The reason we have so many leaks in our pipes is because we had more than 30 different entities managing water infrastructure in the past, many of which were under-resourced in terms of what they needed to do. What we now have is a single entity that is planning for future national water usage needs. It is managing a difficult weather situation right now and will continue to do so over the summer months. It has, for the first time, a coherent plan to reduce leakage significantly from 45% leaks to 38% leaks by 2021. It has a capital investment programme which is secure, thanks to the political agreement in this House. Therefore, for the first time, we have a proper, coherent, organised and funded plan to fix Ireland's water infrastructure once and for all. We have a plan to deal with shortages in Dublin, which would not have been solved by the local authorities in Dublin on their own because this is going to require a national approach to bring water from the Shannon to the eastern parts of the country and to Dublin in particular, as well as to many counties surrounding Dublin.
The approach for which the Deputy would advocate is to localise everything in terms of decision making, planning, expenditure and so on and we know the results of that policy, namely, leaks all over the country and the inability for co-ordination between counties and nationally.