The Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government has published an Information Paper on the development of the Water Services Policy Statement and is interested in hearing views in relation to the key themes, principles and objectives that should be included in the Water Service Policy Statement which will be published in May 2018 and which will guide the delivery of water services over the period to 2025.

Why are we consulting
Preparation of the Water Services Policy Statement is a statutory requirement arising from the Water Services Act 2017. The Department is particularly interested in receiving feedback in relation to the themes, principles and objectives to be addressed in the Statement.

The Water Services Policy Statement will be a succinct high-level statement of Government policy. It will identify key policy objectives and priorities for the delivery of water and wastewater services in Ireland. Informing the Statement will be an understanding of the main activities and actions to be taken in pursuit of these objectives and priorities.

Elements of current water policy which will form part of the Water Service Policy Statement are already articulated in a range of other relevant documents including in the Water Services Acts 2007-2017, the National Planning Framework, the National Development Plan 2018-2027, and the Water Sector Reform Implementation Plan. The Statement will also reflect priority areas for action identified by the Environmental Protection Agency in its most recent reports on drinking water quality and urban waste water treatment. In this way, the Water Services Policy Statement will draw together the various components of water policy to ensure a coherent overview of policy objectives.

When finalised, the Water Services Policy Statement will provide clarity for Irish Water on the Government’s expectations on key aspects of water and waste water services delivery, and areas to be prioritised when planning capital investment and through its current spending plans.

How to get involved
An information paper has been prepared to aid participation. For ease of use, the information paper is set out in two Parts. Part 1 sets out some useful background information, describing the process involved in the preparation of the Statement and the policy elements that will inform its content. Part 2 describes the emerging high level themes and principles to be addressed in drafting the Statement. The consultation process is particularly seeking views on these themes and principles.

Seven questions and a template for reply have been prepared to make it easier for people to respond effectively.

Respondents are also welcome to return any further views, comments or observations they wish, ideally on the template provided, or alternatively set out in an email and/or attachment.

Respondents are respectfully encouraged use the template provided and to outline their views as briefly and concisely as possible.

Submissions should be made in writing and emailed to wsp@housing.gov.ie, to be received by 1pm on Wednesday 25 April 2018.

Source: Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government

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