Water is top of the Irish investment agenda, despite a £200m reduction in capital investment for 2012, said Irish Minister for Environment Phil Hogan yesterday.
Total capital investment for the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government has been cut by 18% to E861m next year, a reduction of some E200m. However, said Mr Hogan, despite the cuts, which are necessary across all departments to reduce Ireland’s national deficit, water and housing remain the top priorities between now and 2016. A total of E3.3bn has been earmarked for investment in that period, with a focus on tackling water leakage levels throughout the network.
Speaking yesterday he said: “In line with the Programme for Government, the key focus of our programme will be on water services investment. We are committed to achieving a better quality water supply and to ensuring that every Irish citizen and business has access to a plentiful, good quality supply of water, while at the same time continuing to attract inward investment and protecting employment.
“Nearly E1.6bn will be committed to help ensure we have an adequate capacity for future economic development and meeting environmental targets. Investment will be targeted at ensuring reduction in levels of leakage in public water mains through sustained investment in rehabilitation.”
Investment will also continue in the group water sector and in smaller public water and wastewater infrastructure under the Rural Water Programme