Tánaiste Joan Burton has said that she expects payment rates for Irish Water bills to increase in the future.
Irish Water claimed this morning that 51% of those billed are complying at the moment, after initial figures on the first billing cycle put the figure at 43%.
Bills for the second quarter of the year are still being sent out.
Welcoming reports that more people are paying their water bills, Minister Burton hailed it is a significant improvement.
"We hope to encourage everybody to pay - and already if the figures, if the story that's in the media this morning is correct, then what Irish Water predicted - we're setting up a very large public utility," she said.
"The expectations are that as each billing cycle arrives, the actual payment rates will increase over time".