A few things don’t add up about Irish Water

Irish Water launched a postal blitz throughout April and May this year.

For 40 working nights, they issued 1.5 million quarterly demands in tranches of roughly 37,000 letters per day.

Politicians are now striving to discover how much revenue all this frenzy will yield.

Transparency and accountability are in short supply.

However, it is not beyond the wit of humanity to estimate the figure.

Consider the following data:

About 400,000 households in Ireland are one-person.

The bill for a single adult house is capped at €160 this year.

About 1.3 million households have two adults or more.

The bill for a multi-adult house is capped at €260 this year.

About 200,000 households have their own private means of water supply.

About 450,000 households have septic tanks. That halves their bill.

Until recently, the compliance rate for registration with Irish Water was trending towards about 80%.

Based on the above facts, Irish Water may well have collected €60 million (with a margin of error of plus or minus €8 million or so) for the current quarter.

This estimate accords with a Dáil reply from Environment Minister Alan Kelly, on January 28 this year, that Irish Water expects income from domestic customers to total €271 million this year.

The registration rate greatly affects the answer. It is politically sensitive information.

We can only conclude that Irish Water’s figures, to date, have not met expectations, or else their pressurised bureaucracy has been unable to keep up with processing the torrent of payments.

In the absence of the figures, the public are left wondering.

That is never good public relations policy.

Michael Mernagh



Co Cork

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