Never Transparent with Irish Water

When working with Irish Water, nothing is simple and nothing is transparent.  Irish Water was unclear from its’ conception and continually presents itself as a Commercial Company when it wishes and a Government Utility when that is convenient.  Most people are not aware that Irish Water claim to Utility is that it is under the Gas Networks showing again the un-clear position.  From this, we do not ever feel we are being given all the information or the full story.

When queried by Professor Paul Johnston in the Oral Hearing about the slipway reconstruction, we got the nervous feeling that they were hiding something.  Heavy rock breaking equipment will be use next to the clay/mud dam of 1865 and the amount of solid rock to be removed is frightening.  When asked about vibration sensors being installed, there was silence.  The word leak was first mentioned in this response and although Irish Water had said that the 4.8 ML/day coming from the spillway was “unpredictable springs”, we have indicated that springs are not unpredictable and this might be explained as a LEAK.  Living down from the Dam, all of us are concerned that this subject was not considered important enough to flag a full independent EIA.

Again we fail to see the numbers adding up in their proposed “Upgrade”.  We know that 200 Million is budgeted and it will end up over 250 million when complete.  Irish Water says “No New Abstraction”.  We understand clearly why that is said, because if there is any new abstraction they fall under the 1942 Water Services Act and that would mean agreement of all of the Riparian Owners, us.  They have clearly stated some of the figures so let me try and make sense of these.  When convenient Irish Water states the average leakage as 10ML/day but it continually rises and recent times it has been over 15ML/day sometimes.  However to complicate matters more, they “Pump back” which is by throwing a big pipe into the river downstream of the leak, they take the water back into the works balancing out the leak.

Current Abstraction – 75 ML/day of which 10ML/day of which is leaked to the River Vartry and 65ML/day to Dublin.

(The new treatment works has the capacity of 85/90ML/day but they have no authorisation for this)

Annagolan Abstraction – 1.2 ML/day is taken down stream for Ashford/Cronrow leaving 8.8 ML/day into the river.

(Currently they are delivering 4.8 ML/day after pumping back which ends up as 3.6ML/day for the river after Annagolan Abstraction.)

Future Abstraction – 80ML/day which is the 75ML + the 5ML Compensatory Flow, however they will not be able to pump back from the day of Planning Permission, and have to close the Annagolan Abstraction within 6 months of commissioning the new plant.

What that means in the math is a gain of 10ML/day to Dublin but less 1.2ML/day to Ashford or 8.8 ML/day that they can sell to Dublin.

According to what was going to be charged via the water meters this works out to €2440.00 per million litres or a saving of 7.8 Million Euro per year.

I believe no sensible business would spend 250 million to gain 7.8 million euro a year.  Something doesn’t add up in the numbers game.  What are they not telling us?  Why not just work elsewhere on the Shannon and leave the Vartry Reservoir to struggle on until it is no longer necessary.  Why?



June 17 2017 08:00 pm | Active and Irish Water and Politics and Water Directive

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