I was in Wexford recently and noticed Water Authority letters being delivered to houses in the town. Soon enough every house in the country will be metered and like most other places in Europe we will pay directly for our treated water.
But we wanted to ask the question; what do you think of the plan? Are you for it in principle but worry about the detail? Do you think it’s a bit unfair at the moment given the amount of funding and pay cuts, new taxes and charges? Can you afford another fee for one of life’s necessities?
There are pros and cons, obviously enough. On the ‘pro’ side our water system is so old it’s nearly archaeological and the current tax system doesn’t pay for it to be fixed. We lose up to 60% of treated water in urban areas, which strikes me as disastrously wasteful. If you think back to the big freeze a few years back we had water cut off at the source by various local authorities because the reservoirs ran so low. If we hadn’t been leaking half of our urban supply on its way to our homes this wouldn’t have happened. If the money made from water metering is used for infrastructure we could have this fixed in a few short years. We at least know the revenue generated won’t be lost to Europe to pay back the ‘bailout’.
And there are ‘cons’. The obvious one is cost. We’ve had a lot piled on us in the last few years in cuts and charges. No matter how often we are told that we ‘went mad during the boom’, that’s only true of a few of us and it feels like we are all being punished regardless. Paying for services is pretty much unavoidable but is it too much all at one time?
Finally, there are ways to mitigate the cost fairly cheaply. There are people who have rainwater collection systems for watering plants, washing cars and dishes, flushing toilets and so on. If ever there was a time to consider this it is now. Often they are as simple as a barrel under the gutters’ downpipes but that’s another post, and something I’ll look at in my next post.
So, are you for or against metered water? Let us know in the comments.