Tuesday, 25 May 2021
Department of Rural and Community Development
Responsibility for all aspects of water services, including planning, delivery and operation at national, regional and local levels, lies with Irish Water, which is an agency under the aegis of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.
However, I recognise the fundamental importance of water and wastewater infrastructure to ensuring balanced and sustainable rural development. In that regard, in the course of developing Our Rural Future, the national rural development policy which was published on 29 March last, my Department engaged with the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage and Irish Water.
Most recently, I met with Irish Water in February last to obtain an overview of their schemes related to the provision of water and wastewater services and their plans for investment in rural towns and villages. The provision of quality water services is an ongoing matter of concern for rural areas, with infrastructural deficits stifling development in many rural towns and villages. These issues will need to be addressed if rural towns and villages are to be able to support population growth in rural areas and our ambitions for increased town living.
Our Rural Futureincludes a number of policy commitments relating to water services and investment in water infrastructure in rural Ireland. These reflect commitments in this area in the Programme for Government.