INSTALLATION OF WATER meters will begin next year as planned, the Department of Environment has toldTheJournal.ie.
The clarification comes following claims from water sector officials that the metering plan could be delayed until 2016.
The Irish Times reported today that because the location and number of household stopcocks had not yet been determined, water meter installations would not meet the government’s 2014 target.
A senior local authority figure from the water sector in one of the pilot scheme areas told the newspaper that the plan could not be implemented until 2016 at the earliest as it would take about four to six months to conduct pilot surveys.
A further delay could be incurred as the tenders for the supply of meters have not yet been advertised.
The report outlined that a procurement process for finding suppliers for the meters will start in 2013 – with installation beginning in the third quarter of that year.
However, Minister Hogan said last April that the installation of water metres would begin before the end of this year and would be completed by 2014, with the government adding that it will not charge for water until meters are installed nationally.
A statement from the department to TheJournal.ie today stated:
Meter installation will commence next year.
The statement also said that the programme will commence with the first surveys in Kerry, Wexford and Fingal and then extend nationwide adding:
Work is underway on developing the tender documentation for the metering infrastructure. This work will proceed in parallel with the surveys so that tender documentation can issue prior to the completion of the surveys.