Managing the national water supply

Wed, Apr 18, 2012, 01:00

Sir, – I am reading daily about water charges, water meters and water leaks. Why am I reading nothing about rain water harvesting? A few years ago we and our next door neighbours installed modest water butts, thus making ourselves the butt of many neighbourhood jokes! Since then, neither we nor our neighbours have had to use any tap water for our gardens. Our teenagers use the rain water to make their hair gleam and our animals now refuse to drink the tap water!

A small pump would take this water to the attic where it could be used for flushing, washing, showering, etc. Only drinking-water might still have to be paid for. This facility is open to anyone who has a roof. Our tanks fill from our normal sized roofs in about 30 minutes of light rain – a lot more quickly today in the pouring rain. In all but the hottest of summers we could be completely self-sufficient water-wise. – Yours, etc,



North Circular Road,


Sir, – The fundamental question regarding the proposed water charges is: who is making the meters? If the meters are not made (as distinct to assembled) in Ireland why should we further support foreign manufacturers?

To be crystal clear (no pun intended) if we Irish cannot make our own water meters, the Government should resign. There are 1.8 million dwellings in Ireland, surely at least 1,000 jobs could be created in the manufacture of all the components to make the meters. – Yours, etc,


Mountpleasant, Ballinasloe,

Co Galway.

Sir, – Drip . . . Drip . . . Drip . . . Is it the sound of water leaking I hear? No: it’s the flood of information gushing from Government Ministers and departments. – Yours, etc,


Dodder Park Road,


Dublin 14.

Sir, – The problem with water charges, household charges and property tax is that they are just extra income tax. Our elected politicians seem incapable of admitting this. They insist on peddling the story that some new kind of expense has emerged in 2012 – “Services have to be paid for / somebody has to pay for water”. Enda Kenny was at it again on Monday: “Water is not free, you know”.

Our elected TDs treat us as fools. They think that we don’t know that it is we, the plain people of Ireland, who paid for local services and for water last year. What’s happening to that money this year? We’re not getting it back. So these new charges are parallel to income tax, and are thus just another income tax but with a difference: they are unlimited and uncontrolled.

It will be the same with a property tax: since the asset is losing value, and anyway does not represent equity for most of us, property tax is a tax on income.

It is extraordinary that the Labour Party puts up with the kind of right-wing guff we’re being given. Worse still, Labour Party Ministers, Brendan Howlin and Eamon Gilmore in particular, come on our screens and airwaves and do their bit to pull wool over our eyes when, as John Lennon said, all we want is the truth.

A spade is a spade and a service/water/property charge is a new tax on income. – Yours, etc,


Oakley Lawn,

Earls Court,


Sir, – The Government, in its headlong rush to double-charge the PAYE sector for yet another service would do well to remember that any contract for the sale of goods requires that they be fit for purpose. Given that the foul and stagnant fluid emanating from my taps has tested positive for cryptosporidium within living memory and contains large amounts of organochlorine compounds, the courts might be slow to enforce payment.

There is much to be said for the traditional business model of only charging once for a service and then actually providing that service.

HSE and RTÉ please copy! – Yours, etc,


Shanganagh Road,

Killiney, Co Dublin.

Sir, – Your headline today ( April 17th) concerns me: “Households face €39 charge over 20 years”.

If I don’t survive to 102 will I be eligible for a refund? – Yours, etc,


Kincora Road,

Clontarf, Dublin 3.

Sir, – As owner of my purchased water meter does this mean that I will also have to pay for repairs and upgrades too? – Yours, etc,


Glenageary Lodge,

Glenageary, Co Dublin.

Sir, – While consumers are happy to pay more for a litre of bottled water than a litre of petrol while potable tap water is free, it’s hardly surprising that Government is now going to that well to extract riches. – Yours, etc,


Durham Road,

Dublin 4.