Over 130 water services contacts with a value of Eur1 billion are currently in progress, while a further 340 projects worth Eur1.8 billion will commence construction in the next three years.
The Water Services Investment Programme 2010-2012, the Government’s three-year plan for improving Ireland’s water and wastewater infrastructure in order to comply with EU regulations, also lists another 190 schemes and water conservation projects that are at the planning stage.
The new capital investment plan differs from past initiatives in that it has been devised on a River Basin District basis to emphasise the increasing importance of river basin management in achieving the water quality objectives set down under the EU Water Framework Directive.
Another feature of the 2010-2012 Investment Programme is the focus on water conservation and contracts with a total value of Eur321 million will commence in the period, allowing for the rehabilitation of some 640km of water mains, which is almost 3% of the national public network.
The programme is largely based on Needs Assessments undertaken by Water Services Authorities. These assessments were designed to identify the key environmental and economic priorities for the development of water services in each particular area.
Commitment to Water Services
According to John Gormley, TD, Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, the Government is committed to putting in place the necessary resources to maintain momentum in the water services sector. “The continuing high level of Exchequer allocation is a clear statement of the priority which the Government is giving to preserving and protecting our water resources as a key element of our environment, to meeting EU standards for drinking water and wastewater treatment and to providing critical infrastructure that will ensure ongoing support for economic development,” he says.
Investment under the programme will also support over 4,000 jobs in the construction sector this year and will support many additional jobs in manufacturing and in operating and maintaining new infrastructure post completion.
Projects currently under construction include:
- Ballymore Eustace water treatment scheme – Eur87.2m
- Bray/Shanganagh wastewater treatment plant – Eur80.3m
- Kinsale sewerage scheme – Eur9.9m
- Longford central regional water supply scheme – Eur11.6m
- Sligo & Environs water supply scheme – Eur12.4m
- Navan/Mid-Meath water supply scheme – Eur23.9m
Contracts about to commence construction include:
- Ringsend main lift pumping station – Eur78.2m
- Leixlip water treatment plant – Eur30.0m
- Kildare sewerage scheme – Eur28.0m
- Oldcastle sewerage scheme – Eur7.7m
- Cork City water supply scheme – Eur22.3m
- Kerry central regional water supply scheme – Eur28.7m.