Deputy Kirk has called on the Environment Minister Phil Hogan to introduce grants for domestic rainwater harvesting ahead of the introduction of water charges.
“Ireland has a plentiful supply of rainwater and we are not doing enough to exploit this,” he said. “At the moment people are using expensive drinking water to wash their cars, water their plants and flush their toilets. By harvesting rainwater instead, they would be conserving drinking water and radically reduce their household water bills into the future.”
Minister Hogan making plans to slap water charges on every household in the country from 2014, he must look at innovative ways of using our natural resources to help minimise the cost on households.
This must include a grant scheme to help households, schools and business here in Louth, Meath and across the country to install rainwater harvesting systems. It would allow people to use rain water for much their daily needs, thereby radically reducing future water bills and helping to conserve expensive treated tap water nationally.
“The long-term economic benefits of this investment would far outweigh the initial cost. Not only would it create jobs in construction and installation in Co Louth over the next number of years, it would also help to radically reduce the unnecessary usage of treated tap water in this region across the country.
“Fianna Fáil has asked Minister Hogan to prioritise this so that any grant scheme will be in place well in advance of the introduction of charges. Households and businesses in Louth and across the country must be given the opportunity to budget for such an investment and to complete the necessary work before they are hit with water bills.”