Tackling the water charges controversy


Sir, – From the letters to your paper on the subject of water charges, there would seem to be a considerable lobby that sees water – like food, electricity, transport, communications – as essential to our lives, but also as something that should be paid for. However, we don’t take to the streets waving banners and shouting “Yes to water charges”. Perhaps we should.

I, for one, welcome the fact that Europe is there to wield the big stick.

If our Government is not mature enough or morally strong enough to do what is right voluntarily, then we need some measure to force us.

What is galling is the prospect of money going on hefty fines that could be spent on fixing the leaks. – Yours, etc,



Co Waterford.

Sir, – Allow me to suggest a simple solution to the water charges controversy. Abandon all references to “water charges”.

Instead, let all politicians, pundits, civil servants, media and Irish Water itself refer to “water delivery charge”. Let water, in tankers, be free of charge, to all those who wish not to pay for delivery of water from Irish Water, or any other supplier of water.

All members of Sinn Féin, some members of Fianna Fáil, Independents, anti-water protesters and those who simply do not wish to pay, will have potable water available to them. Tankers will be conveniently located in order to fill drums and bottles, a not uncommon sight when water supplies become contaminated.

The island where I live, where we pay for delivery of our water, is inundated with water. At least five sources are available on Clare Island.

Indeed, when I first came to the island, water to the house came from a plastic pipe, stuck in a stream, high enough to provide a gravity feed. This water was “free” but not clean.

So we willingly pay for delivery of the clean water that is provided by our community scheme through the network of pipes, professionally put in place for that purpose.

The people of Ireland should also pay for “the delivery of water” to their homes. Above a certain threshold, based on use, it would be reasonable to charge an extra levy, since delivery of larger volumes of water would mean extra costs for the network. Problem solved! – Yours, etc,


Clare Island,

Co Mayo.

Sir, – One of the many features of the alternative logic that the water wasters on the all-party committee on water have come up with is this magic factor of 1.7 to be applied to what is considered to be acceptable levels of normal water usage. It is, presumably, intended to camouflage water wastage rather than individual metering as applies to all other services such as electricity, gas and phone.

Applying the new alternative logic, I should be excused for driving at 100km/h in a 60km/h zone on the basis that I was within 1.7 of the appropriate level.

Fianna Fail has been promoting this nonsense and Fine Gael has been sleepwalking down the same road although recently someone seems to have given it a dig between the shoulder blades to remind it that it is going to wake up in the real world. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 3.