‘Our water will be privatised’

An Inishowen councillor has called on Donegal County Council to write to the Department of the Environment to discuss the proposed changes to the water sector in Ireland.

Buncrana woman, Councillor Rena Donaghey, who is chairperson of Donegal Rural Water Monitoring Committee, said huge changes are proposed to the way water is controlled in the country.

Speaking at the monthly meeting of Donegal County Council in Lifford, Colr Donaghey said the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government has announced the commencement of a public consultation on reform of the Water Sector.

Submissions are sought by the 24th February 2012, which is quite a short window, Colr. Donaghey said.

”It is imperative that councils make a comprehensive submission to the Department at an early date.

“What’s being envisaged is the creation of Irish Water, a state company that will take over water investment and maintenance programmes of the 34 county and city councils with the key aim of supervising and accelerating the pace of delivery of planned investments needed to upgrade the State’s water and sewage networks.

“It is proposed that Irish Water will be the Water Services Authority and single point of contact for customers, and would be responsible for both investing in and operating water services infrastructure in its role as a provider of drinking water and waste water services to households, commercial and industrial customers in Ireland (not served by Group Water Schemes).”

Good work

Colr Donaghey said much good work has been done by Donegal County Council and the county doesn’t want to lose ground with the proposed takeover.

“Our position needs to be articulated well in our submission, we need to be ensuring we get what is best for the customer.

“We need to know the pros and cons of what happens to our assets and our liabilities.

“Donegal has a significant amount of investment in the transfer of land for pump houses and some funded by local means.

“ We need to be very clear on the proposal,” she concluded.