In much of the promotion of Irish Water we’re told the major aim is conservation. This is obvious nonsense, easily disproved.
The current annual cost of water production is €1.2bn, the current annual national wastage is 42%; this means that of the current annual spend, over €500m worth of water is simply leaking into the ground, never reaches its potential end user - €50m more than what Irish Water would raise in 2015 if everyone pays this new stealth-tax (doubtful, at this stage).
Surely, surely, surely, it makes sense on so many levels to replace the current infrastructure before anything else is done? Apart from the jobs this would create, apart from the fact we would then have a 21st century water distribution infrastructure fit for purpose for many decades to come, think of all the money saved, think how much less water would need to be treated, think of how it would see an end to many of the shortages we currently periodically suffer.
Where would the money come from to replace that infrastructure? Don’t get me started. It was only a few weeks ago that Central Bank Governor Patrick Honahan himself confirmed for us in the Ballyhea Says No bank-debt campaign that the first of the €28bn Promissory Notes bonds he currently holds will be sold before the end of this year, a ‘mere’ €500m bond, and that every cent of those hundreds of millions will then be destroyed or – in Patrick’s quaint bank-speak – ‘extinguished’. Oh it’s not ‘real’ money, he patronisingly explained to us – oh yeah? It will be real debt, real interest we’ll be paying for the next 40 years, and a very real €28bn that the next generation of Irish earners will be repaying when those bonds then start to ‘mature’, starting in 2038. That, my friends, is the Anglo/Noonan legacy to our kids.
Those who are currently campaigning against those water charges are absolutely right, deserve the support of every straight-thinking person in the country.