“THERE IS A PRICE FOR DEVELOPMENT, it will eventually cause a crisis,” a county councillor warned when supporting calls to aid homeowners on group water schemes.

Referencing the “challenges faced by residents on group water schemes during the drought conditions this year” and the possibility of similar events, Cllr Joe Cooney (FG) asked for an update from the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage on the expected date for the announcement of the Multi Annual Rural Water Programme in order to progress rectifying these issues.

Waste water collection and treatment needs for villages and settlements that do not have access to public waste water services fall under the Multi-annual Rural Water Programme 2022-2025. The first phase of funding under this new measure will focus on areas of most need. Villages and similar settlements identified as priority locations based on housing and environmental needs or on an exceptional basis, villages and similar settlements where in the opinion of the local authority, a requirement has been identified.

Acknowledging the “challenges” faced by residents of group water schemes, Cllr Cooney outlined how “a number of these schemes throughout the county, through no fault of Clare County Council they haven’t progressed to be taken over by Irish Water”.

Residents on one scheme in East Clare covering twenty houses ran by volunteers in conjunction with the Council had “serious concerns because they hadn’t the water”. He pointed out, “unfortunately the well went dry”. He added, “without their support, it would have been a serious issue. I hope what these people went through in last six weeks won’t happen in the future”.

In Britain a survey monitoring ground water levels since the 1960s has flagged that water tables in England have dropped almost 300 feet but “there is no equivalent survey going on in this country,” Cllr PJ Kelly (FF) highlighted. The work of former county manager, Joe Boland with establishing the Doolough Water Scheme “motivated many more to do their own,” he said. “It’s about time that Cllr Cooney’s report be acted upon by Government, there is a price for development, it will eventually cause a crisis,” the Lissycasey man stated.

Support must be demonstrated for residents dealing with drought conditions, Cllr Johnny Flynn (FG) commented.

“Rest assured, we will pursue this immediately,” Council Chief Executive, Pat Dowling responded.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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