Thursday, 18 April 2013
Department of Environment, Community and Local Government
To ask the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government if he will take action to tackle the problem of treated water being lost to substandard pipes and connections in County Kerry, which loses the highest amount of treated water in the country, at one and a half times the national average, or 60% of all treated water in the county, according to the Service Indicators in Local Authorities Report; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18083/13]
The primary objective of my Department’s National Water Conservation Programme is to reduce water loss and leakage in the distribution networks to an economic level and to address high levels of unaccounted for water. My Department’s Water Services Investment Programme 2010 – 2013 (WSIP) places a high priority on water conservation. Since 2005 the level of recoupment of approved costs by my Department to water services authorities (local authorities) in respect of water mains rehabilitation or mains replacement projects was increased from 75% to 90% which reflects this high priority. Nationally, over €247 million has been spent on water conservation projects in the last decade with €39.9 million spent in 2011 and €39.25 million in 2012.
In the case of Kerry, funding of €18.79 million is included in the Programme for Water Conservation Stage 3, Countywide Watermains Rehabilitation Project Phase 1. Stages 1 and 2 (installing leakage control infrastructure and implementing active leakage detection and reduction measures) have already been undertaken by Kerry County Council.
The Water Mains Rehabilitation Project is Stage 3 of the Water Conservation work to be carried out by Kerry County Council. The Council has completed its countywide watermains rehabilitation strategy required as part of its water conservation programme. This strategy identifies specific defective water supply networks requiring rehabilitation and/or replacement. The rehabilitation element involves the replacement of identified water mains as part of a coordinated approach to arrest high levels of water leakage.
My Department has already approved a number of proposals received from Kerry County Council for watermains rehabilitation works throughout the county to the value of €1.26 million. The Council is also identifying further works to be included in the Countywide Watermains Rehabilitation Project Phase 1 contract to be progressed and funded under the current Water Services Investment Programme.