Friday, March 21, 2014

We'll See How Much Water You Don't Drink

Transforming doesn't quite say it all
They're a thirsty bunch in Castlerea, County Roscommon. They say they haven't had potable drinking water for years.

Irish Water will just see about that.

The town is about to be blessed with water meters.

Not the water they've been asking after all this time. But meters to monitor how much of the water they say they aren't getting is not flowing through the taps.

The water that does arrive in Castlerea homes has to be boiled prior to use, and many people buy bottled water just to be on the safe side. How can you be sure that you've killed what's in it that would kill you?

So they've been paying for their drinking water all along. It's just the profit doesn't go to Irish Water, but to the shops and the bottlers. On top of that cost, the residents will now have to pay for the polluted water they use to flush their toilets and wash their clothes.

Not exactly the best way to promote water conservation via metering to make people aware of how much they use, and to encourage them to save money by being water-aware. They're aware of the water in County Roscommon. Very aware. But not in the same way as Irish Water.

Repairs are in the works, it's being said, and the folks will be able to drink the water by Christmas.

In the meantime, the meters are going in and it's not quite April. Funny, that. They can install an entire system of meters but they can't fix what's broken in the water delivery system.

Irish Water is proud of the progess they are making in getting water meters installed in every Irish home. No easy task, considering the animosity towards the metering program. That's how it goes. When people are getting something for free, they resent having to pay for it later. Especially when what they're paying for isn't safe and they have to pay for expensive bottled water on top of the newly introduced fees.

Irish Water could reduce usage by repairing all the leaks in the system, which is a large part of perceived usage. All the meters in Ireland won't help that, but it will point out to taxpayers how much of a valuable resource is wasted because Irish Water can't afford to fix the pipes.

Neither can Irish Water manage to provide water.

But it can find a way to charge for that water. So at least there's some progress being made.

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