Almost half of the water supply for Galway city and county is unaccounted for, according to a report released yesterday.
The Service Indicators Report, produced by the Local Government Managment Services Board, has showed that the Galway City Council could not account for 49.12 per cent of its water supplied in 2008 under the water supply scheme. The Galway County Council was no better as it could not account for 49.46 per cent of its water supply.
The report shows that there is water literally leaking everywhere around the country with the majority of local authorities unable to account for more than 40 per cent of the water supply for which they are responsible. Five city and county councils could not account for more than 50 per cent.
Minister for the Environment John Gormley has described the findings as unacceptable and said that local authorities must take urgent action to tackle the problem or risk losing out on funding.
This is the fifth annual report produced by the LGMSB on service indicators in local authorities. However, 2008 is the first time the report has examined what is termed ‘unaccounted for water (UFW )’. It is believed that the majority of unaccounted water is due to leaks possibly from old pipes. Other factors include unauthorised use of public supplies and metering errors.
Twenty-two out of 34 city and county councils could not account for more than 40 per cent of their water supply. The five which could not account for more than 50 per cent were Cork city, Kilkenny county, Offaly county, Roscommon county, and South Tipperary county. The four Dublin local authorities performed well, while the lowest unaccounted rate of 16 per cent came from Limerick County Council.