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About Uisce Éireann

Your national water utility responsible for providing and developing water services throughout Ireland.

Incorporated in July 2013 as a company under the Water Services Act 2013, Irish Water, now known as Uisce Éireann following the commencement of the Water Services (Amendment) Act 2022, is responsible for bringing water and wastewater services of the 31 local authorities together under one national service provider.

We are responsible for the operation of all public water and wastewater services including:

  • Management of national water and wastewater assets
  • Maintenance of the water and wastewater system
  • Investment and planning
  • Managing capital projects
  • Customer care and billing

We are also responsible for all of the capital investment decisions and implementation of the capital programme delivery across the country.

Safeguarding our water

Water is one of our most valuable resources and essential for sustaining life. It has shaped our landscape, dictated the location of our cities, protected our health and fuelled our economic development in Ireland. For a long time, Ireland's water network has served us reasonably well, but it now faces serious challenges. By improving water conservation and working together, we can ensure sustainable water services for Ireland into the future.

Transforming the delivery of water services

Access to clean water and effective management of wastewater is a requirement for a modern society. However, clean water is expensive to produce and deliver. It is a complex process to turn the water from our rivers, lakes and groundwater (raw water) into clean and drinking water and deliver it safely to each customer's tap. Wastewater must then be collected and treated before it can be reintroduced safely back into our environment.

The water services which each customer receives requires significant funding for both the operation of the existing treatment plants and pipe networks and for investment in maintaining existing infrastructure and providing new infrastructure for water services. The creation of Uisce Éireann has, for the first time, enabled a transformation of the way that water services are delivered in Ireland. It can now effectively and efficiently address the many issues and risks to delivering water services.

Despite the work of the local authorities over the last 130 years, substantially more investment is needed across the country to address weaknesses in the current systems, including high leakage rates, varying drinking water quality standards, disruptions to supply and unacceptable wastewater discharges.

Our challenges

Uisce Éireann is responsible for the delivery of water services to approximately 80% of the population. Whilst many customers receive a good quality water supply and wastewater provision, a significant proportion are dissatisfied with these services. Despite the good work of local authorities over many decades, under investment combined with a lack of planned asset management and maintenance programmes has led to a legacy of deficiencies in our treatment plants and networks.

Cleaner, safer drinking water

In our two largest cities of Dublin and Cork, we continue to rely heavily on 19th century systems which are no longer fit for purpose. Outside our major urban centres, our water network is fragmented with many small and vulnerable water sources. Water quality does not meet European and Irish drinking water standards in many of our schemes and up to 30% of water treatment plants are considered to be "at risk" of failure in terms of quality parameters and we also losing almost half of the water we produce to leakage.

Effective management of wastewater

Wastewater must be collected and treated before it is returned to the environment. Wastewater treatment is not at the required standard in 38 of our larger urban areas with 44 areas discharging raw sewage. Many of our combined sewers are frequently overloaded during periods of heavy rain resulting in the flooding of some properties and giving rise to overflows which can cause pollution within our rivers and streams.

Supporting social and economic growth

The welcome return of economic growth brings a requirement for additional capacity to support housing development, together with offices, factories and commercial buildings supporting jobs. This growth is currently hampered by a limited system capacity for water and wastewater and is one of the constraints to be overcome if housing needs are to be met in the Greater Dublin Area.


In discharging our role as the national water services utility, responsible for water services operations and investment, Uisce Éireann is primarily regulated by:

  • The economic regulator, the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) which is charged with protecting the interests of the customer, while approving an appropriate funding requirement sufficient to enable the utility to deliver the required services to specified standards in an efficient manner; and
  • The environmental regulator, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which sets standards and enforces compliance with EU and National Regulations for drinking water supply and wastewater discharge to water bodies. The EPA liaises with the Health Services Executive in matters of public health.

Uisce Éireann is also regulated, in the normal course of its business, by other regulatory bodies such as the Data Protection Commission (DPC) and the Health and Safety Authority (HSA).

Our legal context

Uisce Éireann is responsible for providing water services in compliance with the requirements of prevailing national and European legislation. Relevant legislation includes multiple statutes, regulations and European directives. Some of the most pertinent legislation in the context of its operations include the:

  • Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive and Irish implementing regulations
  • Drinking Water Directive and Irish implementing regulations
  • Water Framework Directive and Irish implementing regulations
  • Birds and Habitats Directives and Irish implementing regulations
  • Aarhus Convention
  • Water Services Acts 2007-2022
  • Water Supplies Act 1942
  • Planning and Development Act 2000
  • Companies Act 2014 (as amended)

Annual Reports

Uisce Éireann's annual reports and financial statements are comprehensive reports on our activities and developments during each year and are available to download.