Irish Water Annual Report 2020 publication

13 September 2021

Irish Water has published its annual report for 2020 showing an investment of €846m in critical capital infrastructure projects during the year. This investment, together with the ongoing delivery of additional operational efficiencies, resulted in Irish Water continuing to improve water and wastewater services to businesses and communities across the country. 

Irish Water’s end of year figures report Revenue of €1,061m and a Surplus Before Tax of €121m in 2020. All surplus cash-flows continue to be utilised to meet ongoing capital expenditure requirements. Irish Water’s investment of €846m in critical capital infrastructure projects during the year facilitated the upgrade and build of water and wastewater treatment plants, new and upgraded wastewater and water networks and delivery of major projects and milestones at Cork Lower Harbour and Ringsend.

Investment last year by Irish Water saw the removal of 11 water supplies from the EPA Remedial Action List and the building or upgrading of five water treatment plants and seven wastewater treatment plants. We laid or rehabilitated 178km of water main and 42km of sewer network; removed long term ‘Boil Water Notices’ for 14,568 people; replaced 3,025 lead services and fixed leaks resulting in net water savings of 51 mega litres of water  per day.

Irish Water also continued to drive efficiencies in service delivery, with the Government and Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage providing an extra €87m allocation of funding from the Stimulus Package enabling Irish Water to efficiently target leakage reduction works and capital maintenance upgrades.

Despite the progress, Ireland still has significant non-compliance with European water and wastewater directives and challenges remain. The building, repair and upgrading of Irish Water’s water treatment plants, wastewater treatment plants, water and sewer networks will require a multi-billion euro investment programme over many years.

From the outset of COVID-19 in early 2020, Irish Water recognised the potential impact of the pandemic on its employees, customers and wider community. Irish Water implemented its business crisis management plans and rolled out a continuity response plan across its business units that saw all staff move to remote working and allowed for a continuation of critical water and wastewater services with no interruptions to normal services. 

Commenting on the results, Irish Water’s Managing Director Niall Gleeson, said: "Despite the operational challenges brought about by COVID-19, 2020 was an exceptional year of performance and achievement by all staff in Irish Water and our service partners in the Local Authorities.  Looking forward to the remainder of 2021 Irish Water will continue to prioritise the need to support housing and development in line with our obligations to protect the environment. We are making real and tangible progress working with local communities to deliver critical infrastructure which has suffered from years of historic underinvestment. 

Separation of Irish Water from Ervia Group

In 2018 the Government announced the separation of Irish Water from the Ervia Group. In 2019 and 2020 Irish Water worked with Ervia and an Inter Departmental Steering Group to progress the plans for the separation of Irish Water as a standalone, publicly owned, regulated utility. Operational separation will be achieved in 2022.

Full legal separation of Irish Water from Ervia will be complete in 2023.