Wednesday, 6 November 2013
Department of Environment, Community and Local Government
115. To ask the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government if he will report on the manner in which the water supply for the Dublin region will be increased in view of recent problems with restrictions having been put in place at night to households in the Dublin region, particularly as the management of water services will be transferred to Irish Water in the near future. [47306/13]
116. To ask the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government the actions he has taken to address the recent restrictions on the water supply provided to the Dublin region; if he has requested a report on the matter from the local authorities involved; and if his Department has devised a plan of action to eliminate such restrictions having to be imposed again. [47307/13]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 115 and 116 together.
Under the allocation of powers and responsibilities set out in the Water Services Acts the operation, maintenance and management of the water supply systems in the Dublin region are a matter for the relevant water services authorities under the general supervision of the Environmental Protection Agency. Matters relating to the operation of the Ballymore Eustace Water Treatment Plant are, in the first instance, the responsibility of Dublin City Council.
Following notification by Dublin City Council of the problems at the Ballymore Eustace Water Treatment Plant , my Department has been in constant con tact with the Council to see how best the problems can be resolved as expeditiously as possible and to ensure full resumption of water supplies in the Dublin region without undue delay. I have received a number of briefings from the City Manager on the matter and earlier this week I visited the Ballymore Eustace plant to see at first hand the work underway fully to restore supplies. Production at the pIant has stabilised and improved since last Thursday. However, storage levels are still below normal , and the Council has advised that restrictions will remain in place until at least Thursday 7 November.
Funding from my Department’s Water Services Investment Programme has been, and continues to be, invested in improvements to both the water supply network and treatment capacity within the Greater Dublin Area. In recent years new wellfields in north-east Kildare have been brought on-stream and the new water treatment works at Srowland, near Athy, has commenced production. Investment is continuing on the upgrade of the Ballymore Eustace plant and at the Leixlip water treatment plant. Work at both of these plants has brought additional capacity into the system and further additional supplies will be available when work is completed at both locations during 2014. In addition, there is a substantial programme of works in train under the Dublin Region Watermains Rehabilitation Project. Significant water savings have been made and additional savings are anticipated as this work continues.