IFA Call For Review Of Existing Standing Charge

Harold Kingston, IFA Environment & Rural Affairs Chairman has welcomed the
clear statement by Environment Minister Phil Hogan that he will not impose
any additional water charges on rural dwellers that provide their own water
supply or use water from group water schemes.

Speaking following the announcement of the establishment of Irish Water
Harold Kingston said, “IFA recognises the importance of a good quality
water supply for the future competitiveness and growth of the agri-food
sector. Rural dwellers have, for a long number of years paid for and
treated their own water supply, whether through a co-operative group water
scheme or thought the provision of domestic wells. It is welcomed that
Minister Hogan recognises this substantial investment by people living in
the countryside and has not imposed additional charges.”

The Association has called for a review of the standing charges currently
imposed by County Councils. “The current annual standing charges vary
widely, from €60 in County Wicklow to €175 in County Donegal and are much
higher than the proposed €40 charge which Irish Water will impose. These
excessive charges must be immediately reviewed and reduced.”

IFA, as part of a comprehensive submission to the Department of Environment
has also called for:

A reduction in the cost of water to farmers and other users, who
already pay for water, as the cost of supplying the service should be
spread equally over a larger number of users of public water supply. Cost
efficiencies must also be delivered through centralised administration and
service delivery;

The introduction of leakage incentive targets, to link future
water infrastructure investment by Government to a reduction in water

The introduction of water conservation incentives, to encourage
homeowners and farmers to reduce water bills and consumption by harvesting
water for use at a later stage.

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