• Question: Do ye think Ireland should go ahead with the water charges?

    Asked by Marie to Colin, John, Kevin, Shikha, Triona on 18 Nov 2014. This question was also asked by dano.
    • Photo: Kevin Motherway

      Kevin Motherway answered on 18 Nov 2014:

      Unfortunately we’ve underinvested in water infrastructure for years and we need to invest billions. I believe our taxes should pay for this and we should keep water in state hands. But because our ability to borrow money is curtailed at the moment Irish Water has been set up as a company to borrow the money instead. It’s a very complicated way of doing things and most importantly has not been communicated or handled well. If we don’t pay for the infrastructure in water bills it, we have to pay more tax. You can’t win ! But I would rather we keep such an important state resource in state hands

    • Photo: Shikha Sharma

      Shikha Sharma answered on 19 Nov 2014:

      Hi Marie and Dano,

      I believe paying for water makes sense. As we know water is a limited resource with an unlimited demand. It doesn’t fall from the clouds directly into our taps. It requires a huge infrastructural network to provide us with safe drinking water. It is stored behind huge dams and reservoirs. Chemical agents are added to remove smaller particles before it is filtered and then it is disinfected through the addition of chlorine. Finally, it is transmitted through tens of thousands of kilometers of 100 year old pipes. The pumping systems throughout the country are required to be upgraded to more efficient designs and capital is needed for both research and procurement. I feel it’s a fair deal as government is asking us to pay in order to provide us with better supply of water.