Internationally renowned environmentalists urge water committee to end domestic water charges in Ireland

Two of the worlds most prominent environmentalists and leading experts on water have written to Green Party Senator Grace O’Sullivan, member of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Water, urging her not to support metered charges for so-called ‘excessive use’.

Maude Barlow, National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians and founder of the Blue Planet Project, wrote to Senator O’Sullivan stating:

“Access to clean, safe drinking water and adequate sanitation are fundamental human rights that are essential for human health, dignity and well-being. As many countries fall short of their obligations to ensure that this right is enjoyed by all segments of the population, Ireland has successfully maintained universal coverage through central taxation and non-domestic usage fees. I am writing to urge you not to jeopardize this successful model that serves as an example to the rest of the world by introducing metered user fees.”

She added, “There is very little evidence that the introduction of metered water charges will serve any benefit to the environment, yet the potential social and public health costs of restricting access to more marginalized segments of the population are very high.”

Read more on the Irish right2water blog