Nenagh's Mayor says Dublin needs to fix its pipes before tapping into water from Lough Derg
DUBLIN will need to upgrade its own water pipes before it starts taking water from Lough Derg, according to Nenagh's Mayor Seamus Morris.
He was speaking following the water shortages that have occurred in North Tipperary and Dublin in the wake of the thaw after the recent cold snap.
Last year, plans were revealed for Dublin City Council to pipe water from Lough Derg to the capital to ease water shortages facing the city as its own system will be unable to cope with demand by the middle of the decade.
And the Sinn Fein councillor said that if Dublin was to take water from Lough Derg, then it would have to pay for it.
"We have an opportunity here in North Tipperary to use our natural resource to pay for upgrading our own infrastructure," he said.
Mayor Morris also said that we needed "massive investment countrywide in our water systems before we even consider metering water".
He said that most our water systems were antiquated and called on the Government to fund local authorities properly to allow them invest in our future water systems.
"We cannot depend on developers getting planning permission to upgrade water treatment plants. That type of governance is what got us into this mess. We are told that our banking system is systemic for our country. If that is the case, then out water supply is also systemic for the taxpayers of this country," he said.
Meanwhile, Cllr Virginia O'Dowd, the only county councillor to oppose outright at a North Tipperary County Council meeting any plans by Dublin to take water from Lough Derg said: "The proposal to take water from Lough Derg takes on a whole new emphasis because of the shortages faced by householders in Dublin over Christmas and the New Year. We saw an increase of 50 per cent in water usage in North Tipperary over that period, with restrictions in Ballina and Newport. We need to ask if, after every spell of cold weather Dublin is going to face shortages, then what will the knock-on effect of this be for our towns and villages if they are allowed to siphon water from Lough Derg."
She said that "if Dublin was tapping into our water at present, can you image the amount of water that would have been taken from Lough Derg over the past three weeks, and continuing for an estimated further two weeks. Nobody can forecast what type of damage that would have on the integrity of the River Shannon's eco-systems."