Water meters and charges

Mon, Jul 7, 2014, 01:10

Sir, – This week I have been observing a metering crew in action edging ever closer to my property. Talking to them they said they aimed to install 10 meters daily but the reality is that the results are closer to half that number.

The sheer enormity of this country-wide exercise and its cost strikes me as incredible. Experience would suggest that it is something that could only be agreed and implemented in a country where cost estimation and delivery of projects in the past does not inspire any confidence. Any engineer could have told the Minister responsible that retrofitting is by far the most expensive option.

The introduction of the property tax has largely been successful and helped significantly by the ability of the Revenue Commissioners to extract charges from any unwilling inhabitants. Why could the same approach not have been taken with a set of standardised water charges and in so doing eliminate both the costs of metering and the behemoth Irish Water? Additionally, who will be responsible for recalibrating meters which should be undertaken on a regular basis?

Questions on the affordability of taking a bath, washing the car or watering the garden to name but a few will, I predict, replace the usual discussion on the state of the weather. A neighbour of mine has told me (in all seriousness) that he plans to place a bucket of water by the toilet filled from a garden butt. In a country seemingly awash with water, are the Dark Ages set for a return? – Yours, etc,

JOHN BURNETT,

Kilmoney Road,

Carrigaline, Co Cork.