448. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if he will address a matter (details supplied) raised in correspondence; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18674/18 asked on 01 May 2018)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): In June 2016 the Oireachtas voted to suspend domestic water charges. An Expert Commission was established to report on the funding of domestic public water services in Ireland and to provide recommendations on a sustainable long-term funding model for domestic water and wastewater services. This Expert Commission reported in November 2016.

A special Oireachtas committee then examined these recommendations, mainly in public session, and gave its recommendations in April 2017.

The Oireachtas voted in support of the recommendations made by the special Oireachtas Committee, also in April 2017. The overall outcome of this process is that the funding of normal domestic water usage will now be met through central government funding. Domestic users who use excessive amounts of water above an agreed threshold will be charged for the excess amount to ensure that water resources are used efficiently and not wasted.

These provisions have now been legislated for in the Water Services Act 2017, and are reflected in the River Basin Management Plan for Ireland 2018-2021 which I published on 17 April 2018.

A copy of the River Basin Management Plan may be viewed on my Department’s website at the following link

http://www.housing.gov.ie/water/water-quality/river-basin-management-plans/river-basin-management-plan-2018-2021