Seanad debates

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

3:05 pm

Photo of Caít KeaneCaít Keane (Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

---- they have questions to ask of their computer developer because it should have been possible to tick the box and outline how one intended to pay. The reason the letters were sent out was to ascertain how people intended to pay and not when they intended to pay. The computer developer obviously linked the box on the credit cards to automatically deduct the amount. This should not have been done and there are questions to be answered as to the reason it was developed in such a fashion. It was never intended that it should be so and I seek an answer to this question from whosoever developed the system. Systems do not develop themselves and I seek a full answer to the question. Everyone who has a bank card and a credit card has a bank account and consequently, one is not obliged to pay.

As spokesperson on the environment in the Seanad, I could not let this day pass without commenting on the water issue. I read a comment made by the former Dublin city engineer, the late Jim Fenwick, in 1997 or 16 years ago, that the water supply in Dublin was on a knife edge. Clearly this remains the case but I wish to go forward without being critical. One must learn lessons from everything that happens and I wish to find out what is being done in respect of rainwater harvesting. I seek a debate in this Chamber to ascertain how a comprehensive policy on rainwater harvesting can be developed. At present, all the expensively-treated water is used for flushing toilets and everything else and only 1% of the treated water is used for human consumption.

We could reduce the use of treated water by up to 70% by water harvesting. If we could introduce a system to give tax relief to those who would purchase rainwater harvesting systems, it would save money. That would automatically reduce the amount of water that is being used. We would have up to 70% extra in our tanks. I ask the Leader to allow a debate on this issue as a matter of urgency. It should have been included in the building regulations, but it was not. It is included in the city and county development plans.


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