Ireland’s Commission for Taxation has issued a call for water metering and volumetric charging in order to encourage water conservation and to generate the funds needed to ensure that water supply and quality and per capita consumption levels are up to international norms.

Currently per capita consumption is about 30 percent more than in jurisdictions that do charge based on use.

Water meters should be provided for all domestic and non-domestic users, and the early installation of meters should be incentivised, for example by a reduction or exemption from water charges in the year in which the meter is installed. However, waivers should be made available to domestic users who are unable to pay water charges.

The Commission also notes that the levels of unaccounted for water in the 34 local authorities range from 18% to 65%, with an average 44% in 2008. While the local authorities have set themselves medium and long term targets for unaccounted for water, its reduction must continue to be aggressively pursued.

www.commissionontaxation.ie