This is a summary letter to all local authorities in Ireland. It is a good explanation on how Ireland was going to structure it water infrastructure and achieve the goals as set down in the European Water Framework Directive 2000. Fianna Fáil was the main party in Government from the negotiations of the WFD from 1998-2000 and it's transposition into Irish law in 2003. Page 5 clearly outlines Ireland's negotiated 'Established Practice' principle and the Article 9.4 which allows us an exemption from domestic water charges.
Also of interest in page 5, and possibly for another article, is the mention of 'Reserved Function'. To our knowledge this explains that local authorities have powers under the act to set up and run River Basin District and to undertake River Basin Management Plans. If this is the case then all local authorities including all local county councillors should have been in a position to know precisely what was going on.
The full pdf letter dated 23rd December 2003 was circulated by the Water Quality Section of the Department of the Environment to all local authorities in Ireland and to the Director of Environmental Service. It explains the Water Framework Directive 2000-60-EC and it's transposition into Irish law as the European Communities (Water Policy) Regulations 2003 (S.I No. 722), signed by the Minister for Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Martin Cullen, Fianna Fáil on 22nd December, 2003.