East Galway TD Seán Canney this week called for equity of treatment for group water schemes. ‘Following on from the announcement that domestic water charges are to be refunded with a minimum of delay, the issue of financial support for private water schemes needs to be clarified.
‘In rural Ireland there are thousands of domestic dwellings served by group water schemes. In order to ensure equity for the group water scheme sector, the review of the operational subsidy needs to happen so that all citizens are treated equally.
‘Over many years the private group water schemes have provided water to thousands of homes. The schemes are run on a voluntary basis and the members of the schemes have contributed annually to the cost of providing water to houses.
‘I understand that the intention is to restore the operational subvention grant to its existing level prior to the introduction of water charges. This measure may not be sufficient to meet the costs of running the schemes.’
‘We cannot ignore the enormous positive contribution made to society by the group schemes. The operational subsidy from central government needs to be adjusted to ensure that all householders are treated equally.’