ICSA CALLS FOR SCRAPPING OF SHANNON TO DUBLIN PIPELINE DUE TO WATER CHARGES FIASCO

2 MARCH 2017

ICSA president Patrick Kent has once again questioned the need for the Shannon to Dublin pipeline to go ahead given that it is now clear there is no willingness to pay for water in Dublin. “It is apparent those living in Dublin will not have to pay for water, and at a cost of potentially up to €1.1 billion, the pipeline simply cannot be justified.”

“This has come into sharp focus again with the events in Leinster House this week where the willingness to charge people for water remains highly contentious.”

“ICSA is also questioning why we want to invest so much in sending water to Dublin when a key priority must be to prioritise regional development to counteract Dublin becoming too dominant and unsustainable in many ways, including housing availability and price.”

“Surely, if we are talking about investing taxpayers’ money, we need to prioritise investing in the regions. If we don’t have money for the Limerick-Cork motorway, how can we waste money on a water pipeline?  Despite the hype, decisions have to be made on an either/or scenario especially when it is obvious that Irish Water will not be able to cover anywhere near the investment cost from water charges in the prevailing political climate.”

Mr Kent said “Added to that, the level of leakage throughout the water network is staggering. It is Irish Water’s ‘hope’ to lower the leak rate from 49% to 47% nationally over the next year. That still leaves almost half of our water supply being lost to leaks. Let them fix the leaks and come back to us, the need to spend over a billion euros may well have evaporated.”

ICSA has held public meetings for those affected by proposed pipeline where there was strong opposition amongst those along the route. “There was anger and worry about having their livelihoods interrupted. The whole scheme was was badly thought out and there are too many unanswered questions and farmers have many concerns about long-term devaluation of their farms and damage to productivity and the environment.”

ENDS