Written answers

Wednesday, 4 October 2006

Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government

Water Services

9:00 pm

Photo of John GormleyJohn Gormley (Dublin South East, Green Party)
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Question 192: To ask the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government his views on whether it is desirable to introduce a constitutional change to ensure that water cannot be privatised. [29600/06]

Photo of Dick RocheDick Roche (Minister, Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government; Minister of State, Department of An Taoiseach; Wicklow, Fianna Fail)
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I assume that the question is referring to the provision of water services.

I consider that the optimum approach to water services provision is the existing arrangement with local authorities providing public water services and group water schemes, in partnership with local authorities, providing water services in rural areas outside the catchment area of public schemes. This approach is underpinned by the Water Services Bill currently before the Dáil.

A Constitutional amendment would not seem necessary or appropriate to support this approach because, inter alia, it could undermine water services delivery in rural areas, effectively preventing the group water scheme sector from providing water services.

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