General Update on Water Situation – 05/01

Dear Councillor,

The water supply situation to 12.00am last night was as follows:

4th January 2011  

Production: 542Mld               Demand: 538Mld

This means we gained 4Mld during the day. Storage at Stillorgan was 625Mld this morning although we have to move some water to Cookstown Reservoir during the day. To have gained anything yesterday is good news given the reopening of many businesses.

We have had an increase in identified and reported leaks and the more we find and resolve the more it will help the situation.  

The base hours for restrictions today and tomorrow are set out below.

Wed 5th Jan (pressure reductions and cut-offs): 7pm to 7am 6th Jan

Thurs 6th Jan (pressure reductions and cut-offs):7pm to 7am 7th Jan

We will review on Friday morning and decide on our strategy for Friday to Sunday night inclusive.

There has been discussion in the media about the impact on business from the water restrictions. The Restaurants Association of Ireland has been particularly vocal. I don’t wish to understate the difficulties that any business has suffered due to the imposition of restrictions but it is important to make a number of points in response.

Comments have been made on the hours of the restrictions but I am sure you will agree that most business is done from 7am to 7pm and indeed many restaurants do large scale daytime business also. The operation of the restrictions has resulted in many restaurants not being impacted in a material way. Also all restaurants should have appropriate storage facilities and this would assist in easing difficulties caused by restrictions in affected areas.

There is no provision, as suggested, for commercial rate rebates where water restrictions have applied.  If the commercial rate charge was to be reduced for restaurants then the difference would have to be made up from the remaining ratepayers, notwithstanding that commercial rates represent a general contribution from trading business for the local infrastructure and services provided.

It should be remembered that there is a separate commercial charge for water based on usage. Contrary to some reports, the charge for water services in Dublin contrasts very favourably with our European counterparts and is the lowest of the cities in Ireland and third lowest for all local authorities. It should also be noted that the DEHLG and the EU both recommend that Local Authorities charge the full cost of providing a supply under the water services charge. Dublin City Council has to date not charged the full cost. The subsidy in 2010 was 14% and in 2011 will be 10%.

Yours Sincerely,

John Tierney,

City Manager