Update: Households which use too much water could be charged up to €500 a year.
Irish Water has been given the go ahead to start charging customers who are wasting water.
The utility is to write to households which are using over the set allowance.
Homeowners will then have a year to fix any possible leaks or try to reduce their usage, before they're billed.
Water covers 71% of the planet but only 1% is available to us as drinking water. There are a number of ways we can all use a little less and #ConserveWater. See https://t.co/j6wt2Uo3Z3 for more. pic.twitter.com/RaNdc4lfmP— Irish Water (@IrishWater) July 17, 2019
The Director of Water with the Commission for Regulation of Utilities, Laura Brien, has said that the introduction of charges for excessive use of water is not a ‘revenue generator’ for Irish Water. “It’s about water conservation.”
Ms Brien told RTÉ radio’s News at One that letters will be sent to Irish Water customers “over the next couple of months.”
This is about a decision to focus on water conservation, “an incentive, via charges, to make that happen.”
A charge of €1.85 per 1,000 litres will be imposed for any usage over the annual allowance with a maximum charge of €500 per household, she explained.
A first fix will be free of charge for any leaks “between the gate and the front door”, but homeowners are responsible for any leaks within the house.
The majority of problems are not leaks under floors, but issues such as continuously running toilets, she said.
When asked about what it would cost a homeowner to have such leaks repaired, Ms Brien said she did not have such data.
A survey carried out by Irish Water found that 52% of the public acknowledges that they waste water.
25% of people believe that they do not need to conserve water because of the level of rainfall in Ireland.
The utility launched a water-conservation campaign today, encouraging people to only use what they need.
The utility says the campaign is vital to safeguard the supply for future generations.
- additional reporting by Digital Desk staff