Document

Report
Water Services Training Group
13th Annual Conference
10th September 2009
Meeting the Challenges of the
Changed Economic Environment
Annual Conference September 2009
Addressing the Strategic
Challenges facing the water
sector
Ivan Grimes
Principal Officer, Water Policy
DoEHLG
Meeting the Challenges of the
Changed Economic Environment
Annual Conference September 2009
Overview of Challenges
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Financial
Sustainable use of water
Compliance Issues
Monitoring and sampling
Structural Issues
Addressing the challenges – how?
Meeting the Challenges of the
Changed Economic Environment
Annual Conference September 2009
Financial and Funding Issues
Economic downturn
 Significant impact on Exchequer
 Pressure on LGF and WSIP
 Significant impact on LA direct income
 Development contributions, commercial
rates and other revenue sources
 Restrictions on LA borrowing (capital and
overdrafts)
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Financial and Funding Issues
Need to improve collection rates?
 Addressing non-payment of water
charges?
 Identify more cost-effective ways of
providing capacity?
 Less ambitious plans for future
development?
 Recognise that these may be sensitive

Water Conservation
Leakage levels in some areas are
unacceptably high
 Priority needs to be given to Water
Conservation Programmes
 Economic/financial returns are proven
 Commission on Taxation
 High Level Group on Green Enterprise
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Compliance Issues
Critical ECJ cases – Dangerous
Substances, Drinking Water, Shellfish
 Other ECJ cases – Urban Waste Water
Treatment, Groundwater, Septic Tanks
 Influencing future investment choices
 Avoiding imposition of financial penalties
a key priority
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Compliance Issues
Regulatory compliance
 Drinking Water Regulations 2007
 Urban Waste Water Treatment
Regulations 2001 & 2004
 Bathing Water Quality Regulations
 Set standards – quality and performance
 Specify monitoring requirements
 Supervisory role for the EPA
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Monitoring and Sampling
EPA’s UWWD report for 2006 & 2007
found
 c20% of waste water plants failed to take
an adequate number of samples in 2007
 a significant increase in compliance
would be achieved if monitoring
frequencies met the minimum set in the
Regs
Monitoring and Sampling
•
EPA report on Drinking Water for 2007 &
2008 recommends a survey to identify all
private supplies that supply water as part
of public/commercial activities
Structural Issues
Recent recommendations for reforms;
• A National Water Authority?
• Domestic Water Charges?
• Cut the Local Government Fund?
• LA’s self financing?
• Rationalise the number of authorities?
• Share/outsource services?
Structural Issues
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Strategic Planning
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Licensing of the Group Sector
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Metering of non-domestic connections
River Basin Management Plans
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Water Framework Directive aims to
achieve good status for water bodies by
2015
WFD does allow States to seek longer
time-scales for implementation
1st RBMP’s are due to be adopted by 22
December 2009
Draft Plans have been subject to a public
consultation process
River Basin Management Plans
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Department has reviewed the draft Plans
Concerns about the scale of the ambition and
the potential costs
Concerns also at local level about securing
political acceptance for Plans
Department working with the CCMA to
address concerns
EPA to review final plans before submission to
the Minister
Addressing these challenges
Training of water services personnel
 Positive engagement between all the key
stakeholders
 Commitment of senior managers
 Political decisions on structural issues
 Future funding arrangements
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Thank you for your
attention!

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