The first review of the Water Services Investment Programme 2010-2012 has been published. The €350m investment in 2011 alone, will fund over 100 contracts currently under construction and will see the commencement of over 60 more.
This investment will support over 4,000 jobs in the construction sector per annum and will support many additional jobs in manufacturing and in operating and maintaining new infrastructure post completion.
Phil Hogan TD, Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, comments: “This review of the Water Services Investment Programme 2010-2012 has allowed the Department and Water Services Authorities to jointly take stock of progress, ensure that project milestones are being achieved and identify any actions required to increase programme momentum. Investing in water infrastructure supports both environmental objectives and boosts economic activity.”
The Minister continues: “This review indicates that good progress is being made on the implementation of the 2010-2012 programme. My Department has particularly focused on accelerating activity on water conservation. Nearly all authorities now have mains rehabilitation strategies in place. While some delays were experienced in the commencement of some larger projects in 2010, actions have now been taken to ensure that programme momentum is accelerated for the balance of the programme period. It is important that the investment priorities identified in the Water Services Investment Programme (WSIP) 2010-2012 are progressed as quickly as possible.”
39 new contracts with an overall value of almost €87 million are being added to the Programme. These include a series of water conservation projects and contracts to ensure that water supplies and waste water infrastructure comply with drinking water or waste water discharge standards respectively.
The WSIP was developed following a comprehensive review of water services capital requirements in 2009, which included an assessment of need by the 34 local authorities which are water services authorities. Given the complexities and timescale necessarily involved in planning major infrastructural requirements a multi-annual approach is taken to the WSIP.
However, it was recognised in publishing the WSIP for 2010-2012, that during the life of the programme issues will arise in relation to particular water supplies or wastewater discharges which may require an urgent or more flexible response. Consequently, as part of the review process consideration was given as to whether any new contracts needed to be included in the Programme to deal with such issues.
The report indicates that the completions in 2010 have lead to an increase in treatment capacity equivalent to the needs of a population of almost 280,000 in the case of water supply. In the case of waste water treatment the increase in capacity is equivalent to the needs of a population of over 160,000.