US documentary team claims Irish people pay 10 times more for water

An award-winning American documentary team, which is making a film on the anti-water charges campaign in this country, asserts that Irish citizens are paying “10 times more for water than the average American”.

Earlier this month, the OECD reported that water charges in this jurisdiction are among the lowest in the world. The erroneous claim is one of a number of controversial statements the production company makes on a crowd funding website where it hopes to raise $15,000 to fund the production.

It also asserts that in Ireland “with these additional costs [for water] whispers of scandal have also been echoing through the country. Money that was supposed to go towards Ireland’s decaying water infrastructure is unaccounted for, tax dollars from citizens seem to have disappeared”.

The Young Blood Production company, which lists as its executive producer, Dr Phil Hoffman, who has “won multiple Emmys for his work on documentaries”, also claims that “Ireland is a recent example of companies trying to privatise water”.

The promotional literature also namechecks the group Right2Water throughout and uses an image used by the anti-water charges group.

The company is crowdfunding its film on the Indiegogo website, and has already raised just over $2,000. A series of questions sent to the company by the Irish Examiner about the project have not received a response.

The title for the film is to be 100 litres, as this is the amount the UN has “recognized every human being should have access to”.

Right2Water organiser Brendan Ogle told the Irish Examiner he is aware of the project and has personally contributed to the crowdfunding. However, he said Right2Water did not have any input into research.

Brendan Ogle
Brendan Ogle

“We didn’t provide the research but if they got something wrong that wouldn’t be in keeping with their previous work. They have a very good reputation.”

Also included in the company’s crowdfunding pitch are Youtube video clips of recent water protests in Dublin and interviews with people who were marching.

“Help us bring global awareness to this issue and show others how to protect their human rights to create a better world,” the summary concludes. “We have our crew, we have our contacts, we did our research,” it says.

A recent survey of water charges in the US by environmental media company Circle Of Blue, found that out of 30 US cities concluded that Atlanta had the highest annual charges of $3,906.

The Young Blood Production company does not attribute any source to its “research” that Irish householders are paying 10 times that of the average American on water charges.

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