AS Limerick residents come to terms with the stark reality that we will have to pay for the privilege of running water, comprehending the charges is something that is still taking time, especially given the state of the water network.
Recent developments in Ballynanty could be just the tip of a very extensive pipe network issue give the antiquity of the pipes that carry the water.
But it is in the payments that will have to be made by every household that stagger and anger all at once. Payments from an already stricken household budget.
€176 per household with one adult will be the standard charge and additional adults will come at an expense of €102 with children remaining free until 2016.
A standard shower will cost 25 cent but if for a power shower expect to pay up to 38 cent. It will cost 5 cent to flush the toilet and there will be a charge of just under one cent every time a kettle is boiled. It may not seem like a lot but in a month that will add up. The average personal usage for water is estimated at 52,000 litres annually – that’s a cost of €250 per person.
However, the fact that people will have to pay, and in particular, the people of Ballynanty and many more, for water that is not fit for consumption, does not sit well with people.
Albeit at a rate of 50 per cent, there is still something very unbalanced about that.
The lack of information from Irish Water or their failure to allow Council’s or local authorities respond to media queries makes for a very questionable service going forward.
We have heard the details of the payments made and the many millions of euro spent on non essential associated costs linked to the new water plans and all while the local residents of one of Limerick’s oldest areas languish without the use of one the most essential things in the world.
It’s not far from a state of drought or lack of clean water that is seen in the adverts calling for support for third world countries. You could ask, are we that far away from it?