The Government has allocated an additional Eur20.5 million from the Local Government Fund to assist city and county councils with running costs on their water and sewerage treatment plants. This follows on from an additional Eur1.5 million from the Fund that was notified to authorities last April to support training needs in the water services sector. The additional Eur22 million is on top of the Local Government Fund general purposes grants of Eur870 million, notified to authorities earlier this year.
The Eur20.5 million is additional to the capital spend of Eur508 million available to the Department Environment, Heritage and Local Government in 2010 to fund water services infrastructure.
Average spending on water services infrastructure over the period 2009 and 2010 will be up 3% on the 2008 outturn. “Given the ongoing economic difficulties, this continuing high level of expenditure reflects the Government*s ongoing commitment to preserving and protecting our water resources, to meeting EU standards for drinking water and wastewater treatment and to putting critical infrastructure in place that will ensure ongoing support for industrial, commercial and other development,” points out John Gormley, TD, Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government.
Eur8.7 million from the Eur20.5 million package will directly contribute towards local authorities’ operation and maintenance costs on recently completed water and wastewater treatment plants. The balance of Eur11.8 million will be used to offset sampling costs to establish compliance with drinking water and wastewater effluent standards and the cost of licence applications to the Environmental Protection Agency for wastewater discharges. Allocations from the Eur11.8 million fund have been weighted towards those authorities that are meeting the required standards.