Public consultation launched on plans to supply water to homes and businesses across the South West region

01 June 2022

Irish Water today begins a three-month public consultation on the draft Regional Water Resource Plan – South West (RWRP-SW). The plan sets out options for providing a more secure, reliable and sustainable water supply for 594,000 customers in the South West region over the next 25 years.

Irish Water’s National Water Resources Plan will be the first resources plan for the entire public water supply in Ireland. The National Plan will identify the needs across our existing supplies and the challenges and opportunities that we face over the coming years including legislation, climate change, the environment, growth and economic development. The National plan will allow us to understand the actions and activities required to transform our water supplies and provide a safe, secure, reliable, and sustainable water supply for our current and future customers. The National Plan will also provide a transparent roadmap on how Irish Water will plan for its water assets to align with national policy. 

Given the scale of the area to be covered, the National Plan is being rolled out in 2 phases. The National Plan was first adopted in the summer of 2021 and Irish Water has since moved into phase 2 and is preparing 4 Regional Water Resources Plans. 

The four regions are: 

  • Regional Water Resources Plan: North West  
  • Regional Water Resources Plan: South West  
  • Regional Water Resources Plan: South East  
  • Regional Water Resources Plan: Eastern and Midlands  

Each Regional Plan is subject to its own consultation and, once adopted, all of the Regional Plans and the Framework Plan will be treated as a unified National Plan.  

Public consultation on the draft Regional Water Resources Plan South West launches today and will continue until 24 August 2022. 

The draft RWRP-SW describes the South West Region and the current challenges faced now and into the future in terms of delivering a safe, secure and resilient water supply. It identifies progress made to date, for instance, leakage reductions, capital investment works, and works in progress. It applies the methodology as adopted in the Framework Plan to (i) identify the Need across the 174 Water Resource Zones, in terms of quality, quantity, reliability and sustainability of supply, and (ii) identify Plan level solutions to meet this Need across the region.  

There are 227 Water Treatment Plants (WTPs) in the South West Region, which collectively serve 594,400 people or 14% of the population of Ireland, via approximately 7,923 kilometres of distribution network and 174 Water Resource Zones.  These treatment plants also serve 45,000 businesses. The region itself covers approximately 13,000 square kilometres, extending from the southern tip of the Iveragh Peninsula in the south-west of County Kerry, north to the Shannon Estuary, and south-east where it meets the Celtic Sea at Youghal in County Cork.

Speaking at the launch of the public consultation, Angela Ryan, Water Resource Strategy Lead for Irish Water said, ‘The development of a draft plan on how Irish Water will supply water across the South West region is an important step. It will allow Irish Water to review water supply needs across the region and consider local options to resolve these needs.

The draft Regional Plan will offer key benefits in terms of transformation of our supplies, including the ability to cater for growth and economic development in a sustainable way, improved interconnectivity between our supplies to ensure balanced regional development, and new sustainable water sources that are adaptable to climate change.

The draft plan sets out how we envisage water will be supplied to homes and businesses across Cork, Kerry and parts of Limerick and Waterford over the next 25 years. Our team hopes to meet as many people as possible and hear from them about their local areas, to ensure that our plan is the best fit for the South West region.’ explained Angela. 

Irish Water are now seeking feedback on the public consultation for the draft RWRP- SW and associated SEA Environmental Report and Natura Impact Statement, the documents are available to view on our website at www.water.ie/rwrp/southwest. 

A 12-week statutory public consultation will run from 1 June 2022 to 24 August 2022.

Submissions can be made by post or email by 24 August 2022.

Email: nwrp@water.ie

Post: National Water Resources Plan, Irish Water, PO Box 13216, Glenageary, Co. Dublin 

This public consultation is everyone’s opportunity to feed into the process of how Irish Water identifies the water supply issues in the region and determines what the options are to provide a more resilient water supply to customers within the region. 

Public webinars will be facilitated in June 2022. These webinars will provide information on the draft Regional Water Resources Plan South West and allow opportunities to pose questions to our team. If you would like to be part of an online public webinar on the draft Regional Water Resources Plan South West and associated environmental reports, you can provide an expression of interest on our website at www.water.ie/rwrp/southwest. Irish Water are also seeking feedback on how it will develop options to address any problems identified, before applying them to specific areas. 

All submissions will be taken into consideration and responses to the issues raised will be summarised in a Consultation Report which will be published on www.water.ie/nwrp.