Irish Water provides water and wastewater services to customers through the public water and sewerage schemes. It is responsible for the development, maintenance and operation of water and wastewater plants and the pipe networks associated with these schemes.
Group Water Schemes are privately owned and operated schemes. The Group Water Schemes’ Programme was introduced in 1962 to provide capital grant aid to rural dwellers for the construction of water distribution systems to pipe water from local water sources such as lakes or boreholes into their homes and farms. Communities set up voluntary co-operative structures known as Group Water Schemes to privately manage these water distribution systems with current operating costs being funded through contributions from Group Scheme members and Central Government subsidies.
There are two categories of Group Water Schemes in Ireland:
Group schemes are responsible for the provision of supplies to their customers and the maintenance of their networks irrespective of whether supplies are privately or publicly sourced.