First Bills will not issue until January 2015

Customer-side leakage fix policy to be finalised shortly

Wednesday 24th July 2013: The locations of Irish Water’s regional offices were announced today. Irish Water will have three regions for operational purposes – Eastern/Midlands, Connaught/Ulster and the Southern Region – which are aligned with those proposed in the Government’s local government reform plan, Putting People First.

The regional offices are being established to support the provision of water and wastewater services, with regional work associated with operations, asset management and certain capital projects.

The locations of the eight regional Irish Water offices are:

  • Dublin City (Eastern/Midlands region)
  • Mullingar (Eastern/Midlands region)
  • Castlebar (Connaught/Ulster region)
  • Cavan Town (Connaught/Ulster region)
  • Donegal Town (Connaught/Ulster region)
  • Kilkenny City (Southern region)
  • Limerick City (Southern region)
  • Mallow (Southern region)

Irish Water will have a headquarters in Dublin and a services function in Cork. In addition, between 18 to 32 employees will be based in the regional offices drawn from the local authorities, the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (DECLG), Bord Gáis and open recruitment. A variety of roles will be available including operation and maintenance, capital planning and HSQE (Health Safety Quality & Environment). Further information on these roles will be available in due course on Irish Water’s website, which will be launched on Friday.

Minister for the Environment, Community & Local Government, Phil Hogan T.D. said, “I welcome the announcement today of these regional locations. These regional offices will help to increase efficiencies and create greater economies of scale in the provision of water services, while ensuring that Irish Water working with local authorities remains close to its customers.  This announcement, combined with the recent announcement of 400 jobs for Irish Water’s customer contact centre in Cork, is very positive news.

“Our goal is to create a world class water and wastewater system for citizens that protects public health and the environment. A secure supply of quality water will also support job creation and encourage foreign direct investment from water-intensive industries. Ireland can become a prime location for such industries as other countries struggle to ensure water supply meets demand.”

The Minister noted that agreement had been reached with the Troika to defer the date for the commencement of domestic charges to Quarter 4 2014, with first bills issuing in January 2015.  Minister Hogan added: “My intention is that as part of a range of conservation measures to be put in place, that where leakage is found through the water meter installation programme on the customer side, a ‘first fix free’ or equivalent support scheme would be provided. I will announce final details on this shortly.”

“We intend that households will be provided with a free allowance and that there will be specific supports for those with medical conditions that necessitate a high level of water use and those with affordability issues. No decision has yet been taken to the proposed approach to the free allowance or to these supports. Affordability issues will be addressed, in consultation with the Regulator, Irish Water and other stakeholders. The agreed approach to affordability issues will then be reflected in the charging structure established by the Regulator, which will be the subject of public consultation early next year.

John Tierney Managing Director, Irish Water said: “We have made real progress with the establishment of Irish Water. Irish Water has now been incorporated, making it an official subsidiary of Bord Gáis Éireann. Our headquarters will be located in Dublin, with regional offices throughout the country. I’m delighted that through these regional offices, and working with local government, Irish Water will have a strong regional footprint right across Ireland in order to deliver water and wastewater services”.

Minister of State with Responsibility for NewERA, Fergus O’Dowd T.D. added that comprehensive water services legislation is currently being drafted. “Earlier this year, the Government enacted legislation that established Irish Water on an interim basis, provided for the national metering programme and laid the basis for the economic regulation of water. The Government has agreed the heads of a second Bill, which will establish Irish Water as the new water services authority, address the future interaction between water services investment and regional and local planning, and provide for the future partnership between Irish Water and local authorities in the provision of water services.

“A detailed summary of the heads of the Bill will soon be made available on the Department’s website. This will provide interested parties and citizens with important information on legislative changes to the sector.  It is proposed to publish the Bill in the Autumn and this will mark another milestone on the way to a reformed and sustainably funded water sector.”

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