With the weather we’ve had in recent weeks, you’d definitely think water is not something that would cause much concern here in Ireland, but it is. Our lawns and land is so so flooded, it is not a pretty sight.
Despite the torrential downpours, storms, and flooding, it would seem water is in short supply.
The problem appears to be mainly in the cities, and in particular, Dublin, where old pipes are leaking millions of gallons of water every single day.
Until now the majority of Irish people have not had to pay for their water. The government in its wisdom has now set up a new utility company – Irish Water. For those not living on our dear island, you would be astounded to hear the figures and amount of money that has already been spent on the set up of this utility company – hundreds of millions of euro. Figures of €55 – €85 million have been mentioned for the consultants fees alone.
The setting up of Irish Water was supposedly to save us money in the long term…. but this week we hear that they have taken on over 4,000 staff who formerly were employed by the County Councils. This number of staff is twice what is needed!
The bottom line however, is that Irish people will now have to pay for their water usage. Not a bad thing I hear you say – we might all learn to conserve our water … but to add to the whole complicated matter, it seems it won’t be based on how much you use, but how much they think you should use… so you could be penalised for not using enough!!!!
Now let me tell you my little story of dealing with Irish Water this week….
On Monday afternoon I was here in the house, thought I heard a car at the front, went to investigate to see a white van with the Irish Water logo on it just about to pull away down the driveway. I watched for a moment and wondered why he hadn’t rang the doorbell or even knocked?
The van stopped at our gateway – I’ve taken the picture above from a bedroom window – so you can see the distance.
The chap gets out – walks about 50 paces in each direction from the gate – I presume he’s looking for a stopcock – which he didn’t find. (The reason he didn’t find one is that we have our own well, which we paid dearly for when we did the renovations to the house, and we are so glad we did, as we’ve watched while our neighbours have been unable to drink mains water for 6 weeks at a time!)
Back to my story… next thing he takes out his phone and takes a photo back up the driveway, it looked to me like he was taking a photo of the house…. I am now angry! What the hell is he doing taking a photo? I race down the stairs, and out to the top of the driveway but too late.
He had driven away.
When Alfie came home we check the postbox (which is right beside the front door and doorbell) to discover a leaflet from Irish Water.
We called Irish Water and were told that the leaflet was the signal that they would be along in 14 days to fit the water meter. And their explanation for the photo? He was taking a photograph of where the meter might be fitted? It didn’t look like that to me.
My questions for you to ponder…. and let’s see if Irish Water might find a consultant or two to answer them…
- Why did the chap not ring the doorbell and explain what he was doing, if only for politeness sake. It would have saved him time in the long run.
- Would it not dawn on the overstaffed employees to check planning/ordnance survey maps? We have our own well so no meter is needed!
- Are Irish Water going to come along and put a meter up at our gateway regardless? I’m looking forward to telling them to come and take it down.
I suppose if you are overstaffed to such a level you need to find jobs for people to do.
What exactly are the consultants being paid such huge amounts of money for?