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Irish Water proposes recycling waste water for drinking supply to prevent shortages

The proposal is included within the National Water Resources Plan.

Image: Lipskiy via Shutterstock

IRISH WATER IS proposing to begin recycling waste water from sewage treatment plants into water which can be used for other purposes, including drinking water, to prevent future shortages.

The “effluent reuse” suggestion is proposed within an Irish Water report which looks at how to supply safe and clean drinking water over the next 25 years.

The National Water Resources Plan will outline how Irish Water intends to maintain the balance between its supply from water sources around the country and demand for drinking water over the short, medium and long-term.

During its research for the plan, Irish Water will assess water resources at lakes, rivers and groundwater across the country, while assessing the water demand from homes, businesses, farms and industries.

One of the proposals to maintain the supply of water in Ireland is recycling waste water.

Recycled waste water is used in many countries across the world, but it is primarily used for irrigation and only used during droughts.

Other proposals in the report to meet its objectives include the treatment of seawater (desalination), new water abstraction points, the building of new reservoirs, demand management and improvement to the water treatment plant.

“As a national plan that has to undergo a legal environmental process, Irish Water must look at all options available in global best practice for water resourcing in general,” a spokesperson for Irish Water told 

“This includes a range of options from water transfers between areas, to building new reservoirs, to looking at groundwater sources of water, to removing salt from seawater,” they said.

“This is the list of unconstrained options. The Scoping Report has to legally look at all of these options.”

The draft report, which will assess the list of options, will be published in summer 2018, according to Irish Water.

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