The Cabinet has approved the Water Services Strategic Plan.
It details how Irish Water intends to deliver water services for the State for the next 25 years.
The 120-page report sets out how the utility will deal with customers, provide clean drinking water, reduce leaks, treat waste and support economic growth in the short, medium and longer term.
Jerry Grant, Head of Asset Management, Irish Water, said: “The Water Services Strategic Plan sets out a national long-term view to provide our customers with reliable water services, essential to a modern economy.
“This is the first time that a 25-year vision for water services has been developed in Ireland. We would like to thank everyone who participated in the public consultation process to date. This feedback was invaluable in the development of the first integrated national strategy for water services, which was approved today by Minister Kelly.
“The WSSP is supported by the recently published Irish Water Business Plan which sets out the initial implementation phase up to 2021.”
According to the report, in 12 years' time, 30% of water supply will still leak out of broken pipes — down from 49% today.
Around 40,000 homes will still have lead-contaminated drinking water, down from 5% to 15% levels today, and three-quarters of homes facing overflowing sewage during heavy rainfall will not have the situation fully resolved.
Irish Water engaged with the public in the development of the WSSP throughout two stages of public consultation, both statutory and non-statutory. The Plan was also subject to a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and an Appropriate Assessment (AA).
“Delivering on the WSSP over the next 25 years requires an unprecedented transformation in how the industry operates and in the levels of investment,” a statement from Irish Water read.
“The Plan sets out the challenges we face as a country in relation to the provision of water services and identifies strategic national priorities. It details appropriate strategies to address these challenges in an economic and efficient manner whilst seeking to strike the balance between operational and capital investment.”