When the campaign, led by a vocal minority no matter how it is dressed up, to block the introduction of water charges cowed Government into capitulation it was imagined the issue was closed.
Nothing could be further from the truth and our water security is as precarious as ever — or, as a new report shows, is now more precarious than ever before.
Cork City Council figures show that the quantity of drinking-standard water lost in Cork city has increased over the last four years. This unsustainable, unaffordable waste continues despite huge efforts to seal leaks and improve antiquated infrastructure.
Despite major engineering works to update the city’s Victorian water system, more water is deemed “unaccounted for” today than was the case in 2015 when approximately 55% of the city’s water went the way of Shergar.
That graph continues its upward climb. At the start of this year, it peaked at 58.26%. Nobody can imagine this acceptable and those who so energetically campaigned against modest water charges, with myriad opt-outs for those who could not pay, must suggest how this crisis-in-waiting might be resolved.
Last Friday, hundreds of thousands of young people marched over inaction on climate change. Our refusal to face the reality that we will, one way or another, have to fund a massive renovation of the country’s water infrastructure is part of that dangerous delusion and inaction.