State’s new water utility is ready to invest for jobs and to protect this essential resource
Problem of leaks and ageing infrastructure must be tackled
This is one of the most ambitious programmes ever seen internationally, with the goal of installing water meters for over a million homes by the end of 2016, an average rate of installation of about 27,000 meters a month. Installation will be done with minimal inconvenience to householders; the device being installed under the footpath outside the property; there will be no need to enter anyone’s house.
The benefit of a water meter is that it helps consumers understand their water usage and international experience shows that water consumption declines as a result.
It should be noted that Irish people use 24 per cent more per capita than our Danish counterparts. A hugely important aspect of the metering process is that it will generate jobs locally. It will involve an investment of over half a billion euro in our economy and we expect to see about 1,600 people employed in the programme.
The recruitment by the regional contractors is additional to the 400 jobs already announced for our new call centre in Cork.
We intend to make the services of Irish Water as accessible as possible. Our headquarters will be in Dublin and we will have a shared service facility in Cork. We will also have a network of eight offices in Donegal, Castlebar, Cavan, Mullingar, Dublin, Limerick, Mallow and Kilkenny .
We are fortunate to have Bord Gáis as our parent company, bringing its utility experience to bear on our development and huge progress has been made since it was given responsibility for establishing Irish Water last year. We also look forward to developing a very beneficial partnership with local authorities under service level agreements.
Irish Water has huge ambition for the future of the water service in this country. Given the importance of water as a resource, this is the only way forward. People can access information on our website at water.ie and/or on our helpline on 1890.278.278 for more information.
Dr John Tierney is managing director of Irish Water.