Tuesday, 14 February 2012
Department of Environment, Community and Local Government
Water and Sewerage Schemes
The Water Services Investment Programme 2010 – 2012, a copy of which is available in the Oireachtas Library, provides for the development of a comprehensive range of new water services infrastructure in County Limerick. The Programme includes contracts under construction and to commence to the value of some €29 million in County Limerick during the period of the Programme. However, the Adare Sewerage Scheme was not amongst the priority contracts and schemes selected for inclusion in the current Programme.
The Programme aims to prioritise projects that target environmental compliance issues and support economic and employment growth. A key input to the development of the Programme was the assessment of needs prepared by local authorities, including Limerick County Council, in response to my Department's request to the authorities in 2009 to review and prioritise their proposals for new capital works in their areas. These were subsequently appraised in the Department in the context of the funds available and key criteria that complemented those used by the authorities. Inevitably, through this process, certain projects that had been proposed had to give way to others that are more strategically important at this time.
Progress under the Water Services Investment Programme 2010 – 2012, was reviewed last year and through this process, consideration was given to any newly emerging priority contracts and schemes submitted by local authorities for addition to the Programme. Limerick County Council included some works on the Adare Sewerage Scheme, with an estimated cost of €240,000, in their review but it was determined that the funding requirements would fall into the Small Schemes category of the Rural Water Programme and therefore was not added to the current Water Services Investment Programme.
Responsibility for the administration of the Rural Water Programme has been devolved to local authorities since 1997. The selection and approval of individual schemes for advancement and funding under the programme, within the overall priorities set by my Department and subject to the block grant allocations provided, is therefore a matter for individual local authorities which in this case is Limerick County Council.