An environmental expert from international consultancy WYG has urged local industry to reduce monthly utility bills by capitalising on groundwater resources.
The Environment Ireland Conference at Croke Park looks at the practical aspects of developing key areas of the green economy - one of which is investing in water, wastewater and waste infrastructure.
Teri Hayes of WYG said: "Even with investment in unaccounted for water over the coming year, local shortages in water supply are likely. Increased development of groundwater resources is a ready sustainable solution.
"The average increase in rates across Local Authorities in Ireland is estimated to be between 7% and 21%.
"The utilisation of groundwater in Ireland is far less than other European countries where groundwater supplies account for 60% to 99% of drinking water in Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Luxemburg, Netherlands and Portugal,” added Hayes.
Ms Hayes said some of the many advantages of using groundwater including: no Local Authority meter charge or rationing of supply; low running costs; no planning requirements; consistent water quality and temperature; the ability to manage your own resource and the potential for geothermal use.
Ms Hayes also said that, when compared to annual water rates, the capital investment in developing a groundwater source can be recovered "within a very short period of time and have a payback period of less than six months".