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Ireland, Politics, water charges

‘Domestic Water leaks represent 3% of water produced – the mains pipes are the problem’

The Anti-Austerity Alliance has today responded to reports from Irish Water on the loss of water through domestic leaks. Ruth Coppinger TD said:

“Today Irish Water has released figures in the media suggesting that 46 million litres of water are lost every day on domestic leaks. While 46 million litres is a lot of water, it represents 3% of the water which is produced into the system. On a daily basis 1.6 billion litres of water are produced, the figure for lost water ranges from 41% to the 49% the Minister stated in the Dail last week, this means that between 38% – 46% of the lost water is through leaks in the pipes.

“The main problem is the lack of investment in the infrastructure and mains pipes rather than domestic leaks. These leaks should not be allowed to divert attention from the real problem. We should remember that last year the spending on fixing this infrastructure actually dropped to around €300m (different figures reported) and that despite having meters in last year, they fixed the same number of leaks as were fixed the previous year when no meters were in.

“You would also have to question whether meters are the best method for detecting leaks – for example in South Dublin County Council they have a ‘leak detection team’ which has been in place for over 10 years. In this time using their methods along with district metering they have reduced water leakage in the County to 16% which is considered world class. Several other Counties had been taking a similar approach.

“This is an attempt to justify the spending of over €500m on meters which are being imposed purely for the purpose of implementing the water charge. Their installation has been opposed in many parts of the country by communities.

“People can expect stories like this over the next few days to attempt to justify water charges and meters before the bills drop. Our message is clear boycott the bills and come to the next

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