Installing water meters


Sir, – John Tierney’s article on the conservation of water and introduction of water charges (Opinion, July 31st) is very interesting. However, so far we have heard nothing about how charges are to be applied. For example, what volume of water will each person be allowed free of charge? Will the charge to a household be based on the number living there at the last census or will it be based on the PPS numbers of the people actually in residence each year? Or will the charge be based on the size of the house – which would be most unfair?

These things interest us greatly and surely a discussion should be started at this stage. – Yours, etc,


Downside Park,

Skerries, Co Dublin.

Sir, – The comparison made by Donal Wynne (July 31st) of developing a group water scheme for €3 million and the total cost of installing water meters across the entire public network for €539 million is not comparing like with like and is rather meaningless.

Water services cost more than €1.2 billion to run in 2010, of which operational costs amounted to some €715 million, with capital costs exceeding €500 million. We are the only country in the OECD where households do not pay directly for the water they use. The 2009 Independent Review of Charging for Household Water and Sewerage Services in England and Wales (the Walker Report), where charging for water was well established, concluded that “charging by volume of water used, which required meters to be installed, is the fairest approach to charging. It can incentivise more efficient water use”.

In Ireland, average consumption per person is estimated at 150 litres per person per day. In Denmark, a reduction of 12.6 per cent in household consumption was achieved in the period 1996–2007 following the introduction of water meters and volumetric water charges. The average consumption per person per day in Denmark now stands at 114 litres (24 per cent lower than estimated use in Ireland).

The planned investment of installing water meters in Ireland will serve us well. It will reduce wastage and encourage us to value water as a precious resource into the future. – Yours, etc,


Wainsfort Manor Crescent,


Dublin 6W.