Gerry Galvin,Water Forum 2013

National Water Management Structures
and Local Responsibilities
Gerry Galvin
Principal Adviser (Water), DECLG
25th June 2013
Water Sector Reforms
The establishment of a
new public water utility
to take over
responsibility for the
delivery of water
The introduction of a
sustainable funding
model to support
increased investment in
the sector to underpin
job creation and
statutory compliance.
The introduction of
independent economic
regulation of the water
sector under the
Commission for Energy
Water Sector in Ireland – key facts
•Over 600 major water and waste
water schemes/ contracts
Water Supply
•950 public water supplies with
85% plus of the population
connected to public water supply;
•25,000kms of water mains;
•1,600 million litres of water
produced daily
Capital Funding 20002011
•€5.6 billion Exchequer Spend
•Further €1 billion by local
•Wastewater Treatment capacity +
4m pe
•Water Treatment Capacity +
1.4m pe
Waste Water
Annual Funding
•480 agglomerations > 500p.e;
•further 500 agglomerations <
•About €1.2 billion spent annually
•€700m+ on operational costs
•€500m+ on capital investment
•UWWTD compliance 25% (2000)
– now over 93%
•Significant improvements in
compliance with drinking water
standards in group water sector
Future Needs
with Statutory
Clarity of roles and responsibilities
Identification of key instruments/tools to underpin the roles and consultative
Defining relationships which are legislative and other non-statutory arrangements
(including memoranda of understanding, guidance, protocols etc)
Independent Assessment
 Independent
Assessment published early
last year - available on
 Study recommendations:
 Public utility to improve efficiency and effectiveness economies of scale, improved strategic planning,
access to new forms of funding and reduce
Exchequer burden;
 Recognised the importance of the local interface and
the skills and commitment of the work-force
National and Regional Dimensions
Water sector
Planning & Development Policy
including national spatial strategy
Local government policy
National Development Plans,
Exchequer funding of capital
Consent for capital works and
Irish Water subvention
Regional Assemblies
Three Regional Assemblies (two
members from each council) – Putting
People First (October 2012)
Corporate goverance of Irish Water
(with NewERA)
adopting and overseeing the implementation of
regional strategies. The current Regional Planning
Guidelines will be augmented as Regional Spatial
and Economic Strategies to be adopted by the
regional assemblies. Relevant agencies will be
required to input to, and adhere to, the
oversight of local authority performance and
implementation of Government policy;
Regional Operational Programmes and EU
funding, as required and other regional projects,
studies and initiatives involving EU or other
external funding.
Local authorities
Other functions
Water Services
Regulatory functions
Functions in relation to river
basin management plans,
water pollution, etc.
Supervision of group water
sector and private water
Service delivery functions
Performing water service
functions on behalf of Irish
Water under SLA
Planning and Development
Local Development plans
Development management
Local economic
development roles
Emergency Management
Fire services
Environmental Protection Agency (1992 Act)
the licensing, regulation and
control of activities for the
purposes of environmental
protection, defined as
The prevention, limitation,
elimination, abatement or
reduction of environmental
the preservation of the
quality of the environment
Monitoring quality of the
environment, provision of
advice, support & research
Having regard to ….
Policy of relevant public
High quality environment,
Polluter pays principle
Need for precaution in
relation to harmful emissions
proper balance is achieved
between the need to protect
the environment (and the
cost of such protection) and
the need for infrastructural,
economic and social progress
and development
Commission for Energy Regulation (proposed 2013
Licence & monitor water
utility operations of the
Set standards of
Examine tariff
proposals, underlying
costs & approve tariffs
Dispute resolution
service for customers
Having regard to ….
Customer are provided
with service in line with
standards set
Economical & efficient
water system
Reasonable demands for
water services –
anticipated demand for
future customers (link to
company strategic plans)
Statutory standards &
Water Framework
Irish Water
Based on 2007 Act (section 31) – new Bill in 2013
Metering and customer
relationship (2013 Act)
Provision of water services
Abstraction, treatment &
distribution of potable water
Collection, treatment & disposal
through foul & combined sewers of
waste water
Having regard to ….
Strategic planning and accessing
third party finance
Public service obligations
Protection of human health and
the environment and relevant
statutory provisions (s.31(2)(b)+
(c ) and (d)).
Sustainable management of water
resources (s.31(2)(g))
development plans, regional or
spatial planning guidelines,
housing strategies, SAC
(s.31(2)(h)) – link to more
general statement of proper
planning and sustainable
River basin management plans
Guidance/direction of EPA
Ministerial guidance
Irish Water
Irish Water will be the water services authority and single
point of contact for customers. It will have responsibility
The abstraction, treatment and distribution of drinking water;
Conserving water supplies through maintaining and upgrading the infrastructure;
The collection and treatment of waste water and the management and operation
of combined sewer overflows;
Sludge disposal;
Customer billing and relationship management, including requests for new
Strategic planning for the sector, water resource management and localised
catchment management focused on source protection;
The roll-out of the water metering programme;
Sourcing private finance for investment in capital projects
Phased Transition
Local Authorities
Irish Water
Current Phase
Water Services Authorities
Planning new utility.
Interim Phase (Water
Services Act, 2013)
Water Service Authorities
Some functions (domestic
Transition phase
Agents of Irish Water for
delivery of services
Water Service Authority
Service level agreements with
local authorities
Steady State (post
Will remain as agents of Irish
Water for a period of time
Water Services Authority,
responsible for capital
investment & operations
Service level agreements with
local authorities
Ongoing relationship re
strategic planning, wider water
management, emergency
River Basin Management Plans – Revised
Preparation of RBMP for 2016-2021
The Department, at Tier 1, would have clear responsibility for policy,
legislation and ensuring the provision of adequate resources for
implementing the Directive. It is at this level also that cross-sectoral
co-ordination of the draft river basin management plans and
programmes of measures with other key Departments and state
agencies (e.g. Department of Agriculture, Irish Water and the OPW),
before presentation to the Minister for approval.
Under proposed new arrangements, significant new responsibilities
would be assigned to the EPA at Tier 2, including the crucial role of
drafting the river basin management plans and compiling the
programme of measures.
The local authorities, operating at Tier 3 would assume the role of
implementation and enforcement of measures on the ground and
would have key responsibility for ensuring compliance with the
Directive on public participation.
Preparation of RBMP for 2016-2021 (Timeline)
December 2014: Tier 1 to receive draft RBMPs and suggested
POMs prepared by EPA working with Tier 3
October 2015: the recommended final plan and POM goes from
Tier 1 to the Minister for approval
Tasks involved:
Consultations with stakeholders during 2014
Irish Water to develop its draft capital plan for 2016-2021 and draft Water
Services Strategic Plan
Economic & Planning
Hierachy of Plans
Hierachy of plans to ensure consistency and coherence of
development & economic planning at all levels, with
democratic input
Implications for
Irish Water
Irish Water- Water Services Strategic Plans
Strategic direction over short, medium and long-term
timelines to 2040 to fulfil its vision and mandate from
Strategic objectives
Service standards,
capacity deficits,
demographic & economic trends,
water resource management, environmental compliance, climate change
Assets understanding
Process for prioritisation and Indicative capital budget
Strategic Environmental Assessment may be necessary
Section 36 of 2007 provides basis for WSSP
Capital Plans
Plan form part of the Revenue Submission to CER
Informed by
Water Services Strategic Plan
Draft River Basin Management Plans
Regional Economic and Spatial Strategies
Statutory consultation with local authorities
Other stakeholder engagement
Asset Management Plan
Funding envelope determined by
State funding for capital purposes
Third party revenue
Tariffs approved by CER
Overall Governance
It is envisaged that the regional assemblies will provide an appropriate
mechanism for consultation and engagement between Irish Water and the
local government system on strategic matters. (Putting People First)
Programme of Reform will
Build on existing expertise
Focus on equipping sector to meet future challenges, new sources of funding –
acceleration of investment
Extensive programme of work underway to establish Irish Water
Collaborative approach vital to success
Need to maintain delivery and continuity of service – phased approach
Increased activity in coming months - Implementation will be underpinned with
extensive communications with staff, stakeholders and the public.
Developing the policy framework to underpin the strategic relationships
between Irish Water, local government and regional assemblies.

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