Dublin Water Shortage Highlights Need to Invest in Creaking Infrastructure

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By Chamber Press Office, 05 March 2018

The need to restrict water supplies in the Greater Dublin Area shows how fragile the region's water supply is, according to business group Dublin Chamber.

The Chamber said the decision to impose water restrictions over 'the coming days and weeks' is indicative of the problems that lie ahead, unless action is taken to upgrade the Dublin region's creaking water infrastructure.

According to Mary Rose Burke, CEO of Dublin Chamber: "The news that water restrictions are being put in place is unfortunate, but not surprising. The need to limit water usage in the Dublin region is likely to become more commonplace until increased headroom is provided. On a typical day currently, Dublin is using around 98% of the water that is available. In most European capitals, they operate in a safer zone of around 80%. This means we have virtually no slack to deal with crises and outages, like those that have hit Dublin this week."

The Chamber has re-iterated its call for the Government to commit to funding the delivery of a new water source for Dublin. Following a rigorous selection process, Irish Water has already selected a preferred scheme for the Eastern and Midlands Region.

Ms Burke said: “The threat of shortages has been apparent for two decades, and still no new water supply has been delivered. The proposal offers a critical piece of long-term infrastructure that will serve almost half the population and generations to come. Seventy years ago, foresight was needed to plan and build the Poulaphuca Reservoir which continues to supply the Dublin Region to this day. Now, the same forward thinking is needed to ensure Dublin’s supply for the next seventy years. With the problem areas having been identified, it is now up to the Government to provide the funding required to bring our pipes and reservoirs up to best international standards. Water outages pose a big threat to Ireland's competitiveness. Companies considering investing in Ireland require certainty of supply and assurances that there is enough headroom in the system to counter any supply issues."