Irish Water has published its Annual Report 2019 showing a 26% year on year increase in its capital investment programme. This investment coupled with the ongoing delivery of additional operational efficiencies resulted in Irish Water continuing to improve water and wastewater services to businesses and communities across the country.
Irish Water is currently managing a portfolio of more than 400 capital projects and 40 national programmes. €3.9 billion has been invested by the company to date with a further projected spend of circa €5bn to 2024. During 2019 Irish Water invested €863m in key capital expenditure projects, an increase of €180m from 2018. Through this investment Irish Water removed 26 water supplies from the EPA Remedial Action List; upgraded or built four water treatment plants and 10 wastewater treatment plants; laid or rehabilitated 393km of water main and 69km of sewer network; removed long term ‘Boil Water Notices’ for 4,660 people; replaced 15,774 lead services; repaired over 4,000 customer leaks and fixed public side leaks resulting in net water savings of 66 million litres of water per day.
Major national strategic infrastructure projects were also progressed during 2019, including the Vartry Water Supply Scheme and Stillorgan Reservoir and the Cork Lower Harbour Main Drainage Project. During 2019, planning permission was granted for the Arklow Wastewater Treatment Plant, the Ringsend wastewater treatment plant upgrade works, the Greater Dublin Drainage project and Regional Biosolids Storage facility. These projects are all of vital importance and critical to meeting Ireland’s growing wastewater treatment needs and to ensuring that treated water discharged meets the required standards.
The 2019 Annual Report demonstrates how Irish Water has continued to drive efficiencies in service delivery, with a further €28 million of operational efficiencies achieved in 2019.
Ireland still has significant non-compliance with European water and wastewater directives and challenges remain. The building, repair and upgrading of Irish Water’s water treatment plants, wastewater treatment plants, water and sewer networks will require a multi-billion euro investment programme over many years and Irish Water’s long term plans to upgrade and develop Ireland’s water and wastewater infrastructure extend to 2030 and beyond.