More than €37.5 million will be invested in water and wastewater infrastructure throughout the county as part of the Irish Water Proposed Capital Investment Plan 2014-2016.
The Irish Water investment plan, the details of which were announced earlier this week, will see a total of €1.7 billion being pumped into some 380 projects throughout the country. In Galway, a total of €6,194,034 will be invested in eight water supply schemes across the county with construction expected to continue on the Costello Regional Water Supply Network in south Connemara, and to commence for the Galway City Water Supply Scheme at Terryland and for the Loughrea Regional Water Supply Scheme. The planning procress will be progressed for a number of other water supply schemes at locations such as Clifden and Ballinasloe.
A further €31,400,845 will be invested by Irish Water in 13 waste-water treatment schemes. Construction has already commenced at the Clifden Sewerage Scheme Network while several other schemes including Claregalway/Milltown, Oughterard, and An Spideál Sewerage Schemes are at advanced stages in the planning process. Construction is also expected to commence at Athenry, Kinvara, Mutton Island (phase three ) as well as a network upgrade in the city.
Welcoming the investment, Galway West Fine Gael TD, Seán Kyne, explained: “The finance required for the project in Galway and the 153 water supply schemes and 233 waste-water schemes nationally demonstrate the scale of investment that has been required.
"Irish Water was established for the very reason that as a national State agency it would be in a position to more efficiently provide the investment in our water and waste-water infrastructure than the old situation of 34 local authorities acting independently of each other. Furthermore, Irish Water, as a State agency, is able to raise finance independently of Government and thereby secure the resources necessary to carry out these essential works without negatively impacting on the State's balance sheet.”
Mutton Island capacity to double
Deputy Kyne added that over the last three years the Environment Minister, Phil Hogan, working with Galway’s local authorities, has progressed a number of important water and waste-water projects, including: €15.3 million for the Costello Regional Water Supply Scheme; €6.9 million for the Clifden Sewerage Scheme (due for completion in February 2015 ); €5.8 million for Oughterard Sewerage Scheme (awaiting final approval from An Bord Pleanala ); €3.6 million to double capacity at Mutton Island for the city; €1 million to detect and repair leaks in the city; and €800,000 for a new reservoir at Tonabrucky and an upgrade of the existing one.
According to Senator Hildegarde Naughton the investment by Irish Water will ensure that Galway city and county will benefit greatly. “For far too long our water infrastructure was left underfunded, as many people in Galway know all too well. We now have a large national capital investment programme. It will assist in the ending of boil water notices, the rollout of a conservation programme to deal with leaks, the provision of a secure supply of pristine drinking water for households, and a reliable supply of water to industry, which is not just attractive to potential investors in the Irish economy, but an essential prerequisite,” said the Senator, who added: “This is only the beginning. The establishment of Irish Water, with its funding stream through water charges, ensures that this investment can be made and that future investment will remain a continuing priority.”