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The government has approved Irish Water's plan for the next 25 years

The Strategic Plan for Water Services in Ireland has been approved by Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly.

Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

IRISH WATER’S STRATEGIC services plan for the next quarter of a century has been approved by Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly.

Irish Water engaged with the public in the development of the plan via both statutory and non-statutory public consultation.

Under the plan’s section dedicated to objectives and strategies regarding “Meeting Customer Expectations” Irish Water says that the utility is currently “in a period of transformation”.

Two of the stated strategies are to “establish effective communication channels with customers” and to “establish national customer service standards”.

Similarly Irish Water commits itself to “building and maintaining accurate customer databases” to ensure “accurate customer services and billing”.

The utility has been bedevilled by data protection issues, mostly concerning the release of bank details to the wrong customers and incorrect billing information.

13/10/2015. Budget Day 2016 Alan Kelly Source: Rollingnews.ie

In March of this year Irish Water was forced to tighten controls and enhance employee training after up to 15 customers’ bank details were sent to others without their consent.

Priority

“The water sector in Ireland faces significant challenges resulting from decades of underinvestment,” said Alan Kelly, who welcomed the WSSP as ‘providing the first real opportunity to take a long-term view of water services investment needs at a national level and to ensure that investment is strategically targeted towards priority needs’.

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According to a statement from the utility the Water Services Strategic Plan (WSSP) “sets out the national strategies that need to be implemented” in order to “ensure the availability of safe drinking water, an environment that is protected from the impacts of wastewater discharges, and efficient modern systems that meet the needs of customers, contribute to economic growth and provide value for money.”

The six themes covered by the plan are customer service, clean safe drinking water, effective treatment of wastewater, protection of the environment, supporting economic growth, and investment in the future.

“The WSSP sets out a national long-term view to provide our customers with reliable water services, essential to a modern economy,” said Jerry Grant of Irish Water.

This is the first time that a 25 year vision for water services has been developed in Ireland.
The WSSP is supported by the recently published Irish Water Business Plan which sets out the initial implementation phase up to 2021.

The plan can be viewed here.

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