Dick Roche - WP Waterford Representative The Workers’ Party have said that recent days’ water shortages show up the failure of Irish Water to invest in upgrading public infrastructure.

Dick Roche, Waterford representative for the party, said:
“Waterford is already on Irish Water’s “at risk of water restrictions” list. This is not because people in Waterford are prolific water wasters – much as the media and government might spin it this way. It’s because Ireland’s water pipes continue to lose up to half of the water we produce to leaks, compared with around 25% in London.

“How have Irish Water not even begun to address this? As of 2017, we had spent close to half a billion euro on installing meters which have now barely been used. Why was this money not spent on urgent conservation measures instead?”

Roche continued:
“Clearly, in the context of a drought, we must do everything in our power to conserve water. But we should also ask how we ended up at this point. Everybody knew the urgency of the need for infrastructural investment.

“In reality, the government simply wanted to use water charges to squeeze yet more money out of the same group of people – low- and middle-income workers. Once it became clear that was not going to be possible, the issue of upgrading our water infrastructure was conveniently dropped from the table.”

The Workers’ Party representative concluded:
“It is notable that, as soon as a problem emerged, it was ordinary homes which were first targeted for restrictions – not the golf courses, not the car washes.

“What we really need is public investment in public services – whether that be water, health or housing. And this is always the only thing our government is totally unwilling to do.”