Keeping the garden alive


Sir, – Irish Water has introduced a “hosepipe ban”, a measure seemingly aimed exclusively at the householder.

Many householders, including this one, have gardens with plants and young trees needing water to survive (I’m not talking about watering lawns). Are we just to let them die? And in what cause – so that car washing at garages and filling stations can continue? And power hosing, and the widespread waste of water on building sites?

These use far more water than any proper gardener with his or her modest hosepipe.

But the biggest waster of the lot is Irish Water itself, via its clapped out infrastructure, notably under Dublin where apparently something like 40 per cent of the supply is lost. To be fair to the company this is a problem inherited from the city and county councils of Ireland, but I’m still wondering why anyone, even an Irish semi-State outfit, would want to spend billions of euros to draw water from one side of the country to the other if 40 per cent of it will continue to leak away under Dublin?

There seems to be a distinct disinclination on the part of the company to tackle this problem. In my view that’s because it’s a complicated and messy job. I think that managers, and engineers, don’t like complicated and messy: much better a shiny new multi billion euro project with all sorts of fancy toys, and the comfort of the Irish tolerance for massive cost overruns.

It’s about time that Irish Water put its leaky house in order. And forget the Shannon, except for holidays.

It’s also long past time the blindly haphazard expansion of Dublin, generating the need for more water, was halted, but that’s for another day. – Yours, etc,



Co Waterford.