Clare Daly - No research into environmental costs of domestic water meters

Clare Daly, Ind TD,  was informed by Minister Simon Coveney in Dáil Questions on July 20, 2016 that his Department did not conduct research on the environmental costs of the domestic metering programme. 

Clare Daly, Ind TD

Clare Daly, Ind TD

 

"The truth is out... No research into the environmental cost of installing water meters before they took the decision to start installing them; no research into whether any environmental benefits from metering would offset the environmental costs... Looks like that 'environmental benefits' argument for Irish Water has been shot to pieces."  Clare Daly

 

 

 

 

 

Full Dáil Question and Answers

Clare Daly, Ind TD,  was informed by Minister Simon Coveney in Dáil Questions on July 20, 2016 that his Department did not conduct research on the environmental costs of the domestic metering programme. 

190. Deputy Clare Daly   asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government   further to Parliamentary Question No. 128 of 13 July 2016, if he will provide a detailed breakdown of all the research conducted into the environmental cost of the domestic water metering programme; the persons or body within or without his Department it was conducted by; and if he will provide the copies of or links to any papers documenting the results of that research, prior to that Programme commencing. [22947/16]

 191. Deputy Clare Daly   asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government   further to Parliamentary Question No. 129 of 13 July 2016, if he will provide a detailed breakdown of all the research conducted into the environmental cost of the domestic water metering programme; the persons or body within or without his Department it was conducted by; if he will provide copies of or links to any papers documenting the results of that research, since that programme began. [22948/16]

 192. Deputy Clare Daly   asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government   further to Parliamentary Question No. 130 of 13 July 2016, if he will provide a detailed breakdown of all the research conducted to measure the environmental cost of the domestic water metering programme, including the measurement of the carbon footprint of same against any environmental benefits arising from the programme; the persons or body within or without his Department it was conducted by, and if he will provide copies of or links to any papers documenting the results of that research. [22949/16]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney):   I propose to take Questions Nos. 190 to 192, inclusive, together.

  My Department did not conduct research on the environmental cost of the domestic metering programme.   

  Since 1 January 2014, Irish Water has statutory responsibility for all aspects of water services planning, delivery and operation at national, regional and local levels. This includes the domestic water metering programme.

  Irish Water has established a dedicated team to deal with representations and queries from public representatives. The team can be contacted via email to oireachtasmembers@water.ie or by telephone on a dedicated number, 1890 578 578.


Update

Mr Brian Leeson, Éirigí, Baile Átha Cliath, stated on July 23

"The political establishment told us that water metering would be good for the environment. Ialways thought that argument was a bit suspect.  So I wrote a series of questions to establish what hard research the 'water metering is good for the environment' argument was based upon and then I asked Clare Daly (Independent TD) to submit them for me to the Department of Environment.

And guess what the answer said? The Department of Environment did NO RESEARCH into the environmental cost of water metering! Nothing. Zip. Nada. Zilch.

Take a minute and think about the implications of this admission. The state embarked on one of the largest infrastructural project in the history of the state, involving about one million separate water meter installations, including the installation of 800,000 new water meter boundary boxes, without doing a full environmental impact study!

No research to establish the carbon footprint of a massive energy-intensive installation programme.

No research to establish the environmental cost / benefit of water meter installation.

I don't know what the precise outcome of that research would have been, but it should have done BEFORE any decision to commence with water metering was taken.

This admission has exposed the 'environmental benefits' argument for the lie that is always was. Water Meters and the Water Tax turn a natural resource into a commodity - a necessary step on the road to full privatisation.

My questions have now gone to Irish Water to see what research they conducted into the carbon footprint created by the water meter installation programme. Don't hold your breath."