The Government has announced capital investment funding to the amount of €54 million over the next two years for rural water services.

The funding will be allocated between 621 projects across 25 counties, with the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government estimating that 104,000 households will benefit.

The funding was announced today, Tuesday, October 15, by Minister Eoghan Murphy. The ‘Multi-Annual Rural Water Programme’ is set to run from 2019 to 2021.

Proposals for funding for individual projects were invited earlier this year and, following an assessment process, Minister Murphy approved the 621 projects from the 809 received.

The funding is being provided through local authorities and is aimed towards supporting infrastructure improvements for group water schemes in rural areas, according to the department.

The investment is being provided under the National Development Plan 2018-2027.

“Good-quality water services are critically important to the well-being of people and the local economies of rural Ireland. The Government is prioritising investment to support rural communities,” Minister Murphy commented.

We are working with local authorities and group water schemes across Ireland as partners to ensure that people in rural Ireland can expect the same outcomes in the delivery of water services as those in urban areas.

He added: “This requires significant investment, which is being delivered. Today’s new programme will run from 2019 to 2021 and will benefit over 104,000 households. These benefits arise in having a more resilient and better quality water service.”

As well has being allocated to the various individual projects, the funding is also divided across a number of ‘investment areas’.

According to a department statement, these investment areas include:

  • Source protection – 72 projects approved, €2.5 million allocated, 14,250 households to benefit;
  • Public health compliance – 143 projects approved, €17 million allocated, 34,400 households to benefit;
  • Enhancement of existing schemes, including water conservation – 201 projects approved, €15.1 million allocated, 39,000 households to benefit;
  • New group water schemes – 15 projects approved, €2.2 million allocated, 660 households to benefit;
  • Transition of existing group water and sewage schemes to the public water sector – 157 projects approved, €15.5 million allocated, 15,510 households to benefit;
  • Community connections (water and wastewater) – 30 projects approved, €2 million allocated, 370 households to benefit;
  • Innovation and research – three projects approved, €41,000 allocated.

“Last year I initiated a review of rural water services. We are now seeing the first part of this work being implemented through a new capital programme,” Minister Murphy added.

The minister also said that he was “planning for future investment needs by building solid foundations”.

To see the full list of approved projects click here