Irish Water timeline: from March 2011 to July 2018

Controversy and protests, payment cancellations, refunds, Irish Water to separate from Ervia

Then minister for the environment Phil Hogan at an Institute of International and European Affairs conference entitled Taking the Plunge: A New Era in Irish Water Management, in 2011. Photograph: Eric Luke

Then minister for the environment Phil Hogan at an Institute of International and European Affairs conference entitled Taking the Plunge: A New Era in Irish Water Management, in 2011. Photograph: Eric Luke

 

March 2011: Environment minister Phil Hogan begins setting up Irish Water.

Autumn 2013: The process of placing meters in properties begins.

January 2014: Controversy emerges over the costs, including bonuses and levels of pay. An Oireachtas Committee hears €180 million in start-up finance was approved, much of which would be spent on consultants.

April 2014: Residents in Cork and Dublin housing estates continue to prevent the installation of water meters outside their homes. Similar campaigns follow.

October 2014: About 100,000 people participate in water protests, the regularity of which would form a central part in the eventual scrapping of charges.

July 2015: As bills begin to arrive, Irish Water says just 43 per cent of customers pay in first period.

October 2015: Irish Water expects 80 per cent of households to pay future water bills despite a compliance rate of about 51 per cent.

March 2016: Irish Water denies any mass cancellation of payments in the wake of the general election, during which the controversial charges are a central voter issue.

April 2016: Minister for health Leo Varadkar says the suspension of water charges is wrong and not in the public interest.

May 2016: Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil reach agreement on the formation of a minority government. The deal includes the suspension of water charges within six weeks of a new government taking office, lasting for at least nine months.

May 2016: The installation of water meters is to be reviewed. To date, approximately 820,000 of 1.05 million meters have been installed, costing more than €500 million.

July 2016: Irish Water experiences a decline in revenue of nearly 50 per cent following the suspension of charges.

November 2016: The final report of the Expert Commission on Domestic Public Water Services questions the rollout of water meters and says a referendum enshrining Irish Water in public ownership should be considered. It says normal water usage should be funded by general taxation.

March 2017: Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil remain deadlocked in a dispute over charges and the issue or excessive use payment.

April 2017: The billing regime is formally abolished when the Dáil accepts the findings of a controversial report by the Oireachtas committee on water charges by 96 votes to 48.

July 2017: Taoiseach Leo Varadkar promises water charges refunds before Christmas.

November 2017: Legislation is passed to allow for refunds. Some 180,000 cheques are processed in the first week.

February 2018: Irish Water confirms plans to introduce excess water charges from January 2019.

July 2018: Plans emerge for Irish Water to be separated from Ervia.