Dick Roche - WP Waterford Representative Workers’ Party representative in Waterford, Dick Roche, has said that Irish Water should focus on fixing leaks in order to prevent further drought spells in the region.

Roche said:
“Households in Waterford use an average of 363 Litres of water every day. This is below both the national and European average, and a full 25% below some affluent areas in Dublin. We are not wasting water, and yet every day we hear that water shortages are being caused domestic consumption must be reduced.

“But meanwhile, we have around 10-15 million litres of water being lost through leaks every day in the Southeast region. It’s pretty obvious which of these two areas will produce greater dividends if tackled.”

He continued:
“We are now facing water conservation orders running into the Autumn. In the context of the emergency situation we find ourselves in, this may be unavoidable. But it should be matched by a serious reconsideration of how Irish Water intend to tackle leaking infrastructure to prevent future emergencies.”

Roche concluded by criticising plans to lay off local authority water workers:
“Minister Murphy announced last week he intends to fast track the abolition of local authority water service provision, including staff lay-offs. It is ludicrous to suggest cutting back on staff when we should be expanding infrastructural investment in water.

“But it is unfortunately just another example of Fine Gael running down public services.”