Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Michael Kitt TD officially opened the Mayo bundle No 1 Group Water Schemes Project this week and announced a further €12 million for the county for the upgrade of water schemes.
The project which was opened provides 19 group water schemes across the county with new state of the art water treatment plants and serves in excess of 3,500 households.
The Minister also announced that funding of more than €12.36 million has been allocated to Mayo under the Rural Water Programme 2009 which will allow Mayo County Council continue improving rural water supplies. Dara Calleary TD welcomed the funding announcement which is the second highest county allocation behind Galway.
In performing the opening ceremony at the Ballycroy and Fahy Group Water Schemes the Minister said the Ballycroy scheme had been at the centre of the proceedings taken against Ireland by the EU Commission some years ago in relation to drinking water quality problems, and the Fahy scheme received its baptism of fire in the local and national media as a result of a Primetime report on RTE television.
He went on to say that the picture painted was not particularly fair to either group. Neither did it give any credit to communities that were struggling hard to remedy their problems
The Minister added: “The drinking water on these schemes is now as good or better than anywhere else in the country or indeed throughout Europe as a whole.” He commended the schemes involved in the project for the excellent results achieved in cutting the level of unaccounted for water and for the consequential reduction in demand for treated water. As a direct result of the adoption and implementation of a targeted water conservation plan by the groups concerned, there has been an average reduction of between 40 per cent and 50 per cent in demand.
“This makes sound economic and ecological sense and will provide considerable cost savings for the members of the scheme,” the Minister said.
The Minister told the group water schemes involved in the bundled project that they were “a shining example of what can be attained through co-operation and partnership” and that “the community spirit and enterprise that is always so evident in the rural water sector has