More than half of drinking water lost in 10 council areas

Water, waste, planning, fire brigade and library should be benchmarked, says report

Unaccounted-for water (UFW)  has two components: physical loss due to leakage from pipes, and administrative losses due to unauthorised connections

Unaccounted-for water (UFW) has two components: physical loss due to leakage from pipes, and administrative losses due to unauthorised connections

 

More than half the drinking water is lost in 10 local authorities, according to the report from the independent local government watchdog.

Unaccounted-for water (UFW) is the difference between the quantity supplied to a region’s network and the amount used by the customers. UFW has two components – physical losses due to leakage from pipes, and administrative losses due to unauthorised connections.

Roscommon fared worst in the latest report from the National Oversight and Audit Commission which said up to 68 per cent of supplied water in the county was unaccounted for.

Lowest level

In Dublin city, 48 per cent of the city’s water was unaccounted for. In Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown it was 50 per cent, Fingal was 44 per cent and in South Dublin it was 34 per cent.

The local authority which reported the lowest level of water loss was Monaghan County Council, at 32 per cent. It was followed by Cavan at 33 per cent. The only other authorities with UFW rates of less than 40 per cent were Clare at 37 per cent, Kildare 35 per cent, Laois 36 per cent and Wicklow 37per cent.

The figures were supplied by Irish Water and compiled from data provided by local authorities between January and June 2015.

The average water loss for the State was 46.7 per cent – an increase on 39.5 per cent in 2013.

Separately, the report said a smaller percentage of new buildings were inspected by planning authorities in most counties in 2014, compared with 2013.

The audit commission said the low levels of building inspection was “disappointing” in the majority of areas.

The exceptions were Kerry, Kilkenny, Leitrim, Mayo, Monaghan, Carlow, Longford, Meath, Roscommon, Sligo and Waterford.

The proportion of buildings inspected ranged from 11 per cent in Fingal to 59 per cent in Carlow.

However, the report said “on a more positive note”only three authorities, Fingal, South Dublin and Tipperary, had an inspection rate lower than the minimum 12 to 15 per cent requirement specified in the February 2014 code.

Staff numbers

There was also a reduction in the level of certified sickness absence, with an average drop of 8.27 per cent.

The percentage of working days lost due to certified paid sick leave varied from 2.37 per cent in Wicklow to 4.47 per cent in Galway city.

Dublin City Council was the largest employer of staff with 5,446 whole-time equivalent jobs. Cork county had 1,947, Cork city had 1,210, Limerick city and county had 1,008 staff, Galway city had 410 while Galway county had 752.

In the Dublin area, Fingal employed 1,251 staff, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown had 951, while South Dublin had 1,056. The figures relate to staff employed on December 31st 2014.