How to fund our water supply


Sir, – Cliff Taylor’s article on the funding of our water supply and sewage disposal arrangements is very welcome. (“Politicians broke the Irish Water funding model. Now they must fix it”, July 29th).

However, I do not agree with his conceding that the anti-water charges argument has been won, it should not be allowed to win. No better plan has been put forward.

The suggestion that funding should be provided from general taxation is hardly a realistic plan.

This model has been tried since the abolition of domestic rates 40 years ago and its fragility in the face of other budgetary demands has meant that it has not been able to ensure adequate investment.

The result has been water supply breakdowns, sewage pollution being reported somewhere on an almost weekly basis, fish kills, cryptosporidium, boiled water notices, closure of beaches to swimmers and leakage of 40 per cent or more of expensively cleaned water.

It is beyond belief that any sensible person could think that a continuation of this model will produce a different result in the future.

It therefore behoves all politicians and other leaders of opinion (including journalists) who believe in the water charges model to promote it.

This should include those members of Fianna Fáil who have qualms about the pusillanimous retreat of their party in the face of the perceived threat from the populist opportunism of Sinn Féin. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 6.