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Water on roofs can meet our household needs

I saw some alarming front page headlines in the Irish Examiner recently, like ‘€50m pay to experts’ and ‘Half of children with Down’s lose vital aid’.

For the State to spend millions on dubious consultants, while depriving children who have Down Syndrome, is immoral — and highlights the Government’s priorities.

The Government’s provision of water to the public is flawed and costly. There is an alternative. Most housing is three or four-bedroomed. The average three-bed house has a roof area of 1.200sqft, or 60 metres; the average four-bed house has a roof area of 1,600sqft, or 80 metres. An inch of rain on a 60sqm roof produces 1,500 litres of water. An inch of rain on an 80sqm roof produces 2,000 litres. It is possible to collect 45,000 to 60,000 litres per annum from Irish household rooftops.

Toilet flushing, showering and washing machines are the greatest consumers of water in the home. Water used for cooking/drinking (that must be clean) is less than 5% of consumption. The water on Irish roofs would supply many household needs if collected and plumbed.

This would eliminate the cost of water meters (€539m).

Building regulations could be introduced which would make the instillation of water-collection systems compulsory on new buildings. We could also consider exporting water — we have enough of it.

Michael O’Donnell
Old Youghal Road


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