Green Party Senator Grace O’Sullivan has warned that the report of the Committee on the Future Funding of Domestic Water Services will need to be strengthened in the Dáil by the government and Fianna Fáil if we are to secure the long term viability of a more efficient and safe water system.
Senator O’Sullivan voted against the report of the committee, due to Fianna Fáil’s insertion of the Water Services Act 2007 to penalise those who use water excessively.
Speaking after the final meeting of the committee, she said “I welcome Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael’s conversion to the Green Party’s consistent line on water – that it is a public good that requires long term funding certainty and dedicated attention, if we are to conserve and preserve it into the future.”
“However, I was unable to support today’s report – the use of the Water Services Act 2007 to prevent wastage is a blunt and impractical approach, and the ending of wide-scale metering will lower our ability to locate leaks and plan for future need.”
“However there is also much to welcome – public ownership of the water system, which the Green Party was the first to propose, will be enshrined in the constitution. Public health and oversight will be better served by new structures and there are a number of measures to promote conservation of this most precious resource.”
The Green Party believes that it is now time to finally fix the problems in our water provision and treatment systems that have seen us threatened with EU fines, bacterial outbreaks and serious water loss from leaks.
Senator O’Sullivan: “It’s crucial we now move to place our public water system on a path to sustainable long term health. The work of this committee has been riven with populism from those seeking political gain, and the best interests of the Irish people have sometimes lost out, but we now need to move forward to secure a modern and safe water system for future generations.