The Water Advisory Body published its fifth report today, the first in 2021. The role of the WAB is to advise the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage on measures needed to improve the transparency and accountability of Irish Water.
This latest reports highlights progress Irish water has made on the EPAs Remedial Action List with the removal of 5 supplies to nearly 146,475 customers, however continued work is needed to address issues on the 9 remaining supplies on the list. There was also a very welcome decrease on the population on Boil Water notices with nearly 15,000 people removed but 1,335 people remain on notices.
The uptake of the First Fix Scheme for leakage repairs has dropped-off in recent months but the upcoming expansion of the scheme to unmetered customers should help address this and the introduction of Household Water Conservation Policy (Excessive Use Charges) is also likely to result in greater uptake of the scheme.
The report notes that Irish Water plans to replace only 7% of remaining public side lead connections by 2024 meaning it is unlikely to meet its target to replace all lead services by 2026.
As stated by the Chairperson of The Water Advisory Body, Paul McGowan,: “It continues to be the WAB’s view that the management and improvement of the drinking and waste water infrastructure and network requires significant and sustained action, across a range of areas. It remains our view that increasing public confidence in Irish Water is dependent on visible action in areas such as waste water treatment, water quality, and leakage.”