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By Chamber Press Office, 12 February 2018
Dublin Chamber has welcomed the news that work has commenced on an €80m upgrade of the Ringsend Wastewater Treatment Plant.
The Chamber said the improvements will help ensure that Dublin has the infrastructure needed to support the type of population growth that is forecast over the next decade.
According to Dublin Chamber CEO Mary Rose Burke: “The revamp of the Ringsend Plant may not be a sexy project like a new motorway or railway line, but it is an example of the type of investments that are required to ensure that Dublin continues to function. Dublin’s water infrastructure has suffered from massive underinvestment over the past 30 years. The result is that while people take good water and wastewater services for granted, Dublin's ailing infrastructure is on a knife-edge on a daily basis. We are now playing a game of catch-up to upgrade and infrastructure and ensure that both current and future demand can be supported.”
Dublin Chamber has warned that the certainty of water supply and waste water treatment is a major concern for Dublin – and a threat to the competitiveness of Ireland Inc.
Ms Burke said: “Resilient water infrastructure is essential for Irish businesses in planning for the future. It is also a strategic issue for any potential foreign direct investment. Sewage treatment capacity is also a limiting factor for population growth in Dublin City and Suburbs as well as other regional cities. Pollution from waste water effluent, especially in Fingal, makes Dublin a much less attractive location for international businesses and international talent. Waste water infrastructure projects must be prioritised in Dublin and other strategic urban areas to resolve this problem and to expand treatment capacity.”
Dublin Chamber is calling on the Government to commit to funding a new water source for Dublin and the Eastern & Midlands Region when it announces its capital spending plan in the coming weeks.
Ms Burke said: “Water systems in Dublin’s competitor cities typically operate at around 80% capacity, while in Dublin this figure is approximately 98%. A Stanford University study in 2014 identified Dublin as the second most vulnerable city in the world to water shortages in the future. Not only is more water needed to meet demand, the supplying sources must be diversified so that the region is equipped to deal with external shocks. The population and jobs growth targets in the National Planning Framework all point to the need for a new water supply for the Eastern and Midland region.”