05 Oct 2022

Irish Water plan: Objectors say it is getting ever 'more disingenuous'

Irish Water plan: Objectors say it is getting ever 'more disingenuous'

Irish Water has put forward the Shannon option to find new water supply for Dublin

The various bodies challenging the proposed project said that efforts to get the Shannon water extraction project across the line get “more disingenuous with every turn”.

Emma Kennedy, founder of Kennedy Analysis, pointed out that Kennedy Analysis had been called to appear before the Joint Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government alongside Irish Water in relation the Shannon project this Wednesday, April 25.

That meeting should have been an opportunity for the Government to hear a balanced and informed critique of whether the Shannon project is an appropriate way to spend a huge amount of taxpayers’ money, she said.

“It is disappointing but not surprising that Irish Water have sought to undermine that opportunity with the publication of a report that has been 18 months in production,” said Ms Kennedy.

She said that Irish Water continued to present a “misleading story” when it came to Dublin’s leaks and this report will do nothing to change that.

“Its press release cites a figure for leakage of 36 per cent but that figure does not include a single drop of customer side leakage which brings Dublin’s total leakage to around 57 per cent,” she said.

Ms Kennedy took issue with Irish Water's public consultation, saying they cannot imagine that those it consulted with were told that over half of the water taken from the River Shannon and expensively treated would be wasted.

“This does nothing either to change the unreliability of supply to Dublin householders and businesses. Because of the state of Dublin’s pipes, they will continue to be condemned to water outages like they experienced during Storm Emma recently,” she said.

Ms Kennedy pointed out that Irish Water planned to replace just 1 per cent of Dublin’s pipes per annum, meaning some of its pipes, which are up to 140 years old, will not be touched for another 100 years.

She stated that Dublin’s water mains did not need maintenance, they needed a major overhaul and this will soon become unavoidable regardless of whether or not the Shannon project proceeded.

“Irish Water says that it lacks the funds to replace Dublin’s pipes. It says replacing them all would cost €3bn and €4bn, yet it proposes to spend a very significant proportion of that figure on a pipeline that would not even fix Dublin’s problems,” said Ms Kennedy.

Cllr Seamus Morris, who is part of a broad group challenging the pipeline, said: “The fact that the report falls back on the National Planning Framework, a document that has been utterly indifferent to the needs of the Mid-West, for support reaffirms the lack of integrity around this entire proposal.

“For over 20 years now they have been moving this project down the River Shannon, with three previous efforts being shelved. This is the same proposal in a different guise but other than that little has changed.”

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