There was €9,575,863 drawn down for group water scheme-related projects under the multi-annual rural programme in 2023, according to a report from the National Federation of Group Water Schemes (NFGWS).

This brings the total draw down since the rural water programme opened in 2019 to €40,530,364.

Increased allocations from the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage were also approved on several projects impacted by the cost of inflation, bringing the total group water scheme allocation under the programme to €72,672,365.

Measure one of the multi-annual rural water programme, which relates to source protection works saw a draw down worth €176,585.

This brought the lifetime figure to just over €2 million, amounting to 68% of the amount allocated under the programme.

Water scheme projects

Measure two focused on public health compliance and was broken down into three sub-measures that focused on water treatment improvements, works related to amalgamation/rationalisation, and capital replacement costs.

Over €1.6 million was drawn down over the course of 2023, which brought the overall spend under the measure to over €8 million. This was 42% of the allocation for spending.

Contributions went towards a major treatment plant upgrade in Crossdoney group water scheme in Co. Cavan.

Preparatory work was also completed for the amalgamation of Derryvohey with PBKS group water scheme in Co. Mayo.

Elsewhere during 2023, five group water schemes in Co. Kilkenny voted to rationalise into a new entity, called ‘Kilkenny West Group Water Scheme Co-operative Society Limited’.

Under measure three for water conservation projects, €256,594 was drawn down, and over €1 million was drawn down for network upgrade works.

The total programme spend of €10,609,400 amounts to 72% of the allocation for projects approved under the measure.

Major network upgrade projects completed in 2023, included work by mid-Roscommon water scheme to replace large sections of watermain, and a similar project in Killeigh, Cloneygowan, Killurin, Co. Offaly.

Existing projects

A total of €1,770,982 was drawn down over the course of the year on projects related to extensions on existing group water schemes, under measure four of the programme.

The €3,782,690 drawn down over the programme’s lifetime equates to 64% of the measure’s €5,926,153 allocation.

The largest project funded under measure four, was for the amalgamation of Kilrickle and Kilcooley group water schemes with Cappataggle District scheme in Co. Galway.

The laying of 40km of pipework to facilitate the amalgamation was ongoing throughout 2023, with completion stated as expected in the springtime of 2024.

The amalgamation will see approximately 285 new household connections, that had previously relied on private domestic wells, provided with a safe group water scheme supply.

Measure five, which relates to the transition of schemes to the public sector, had the highest costs across measures in 2023.

Over €4 million was claimed under the measure during 2023, bringing the total draw down for group water schemes under the programme’s lifetime to €15,640,162.

Group water schemes taken in-charge by Uisce Éireann in 2023 include: Ballygurrane and Garron north (Belclare) in Co. Galway, along with Tragumna and Templehill in Co. Cork.