One of the only things you can be sure of in Ireland is that it will rain. A lot and often. We have one of the highest levels of precipitation in Europe, averaging between 150 days a year in the East to 225 days along the West Coast.
Despite this, we suffer regular water shortages and restrictions, the most recent arising this week. These are generally a direct consequence of the poor quality of our water infrastructure, most of which hasn’t been upgraded since Victorian times (what did the British ever do for us?!). It is estimated that almost 40% of the total water supply is lost through faulty pipes and mains leaks.
Next year will see the introduction of metered water charges, which are estimated to be in the region of €600 per household and which will go straight into the fiscal black hole along with the rest of our already inflated taxes.
The cost of installing water meters in every home in Ireland is estimated at €539m. Ironically this is not far off what it would cost to upgrade the country’s water mains to 21st century standards.
Once we are paying for our water, I wonder how tolerant we will be of supply outages.