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Plans to improve water and sewerage treatment services in Co. Kildare

Question 191: To ask the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will provide details of the plans to improve the water and sewerage treatment services in County Kildare taking into account the population increase of 12.7% in the county, according to Census 2011; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [Ref No:19390/11]

Response from Minister Phil Hogan (Department of Environment, Community and Local Government): 7th July 2011

Water services authorities, including Kildare County Council, were asked in July 2009 to submit an assessment of needs for water and sewerage services to my Department. In preparing their assessments, water services authorities were required to take into consideration key environmental and economic criteria in prioritising contracts and schemes to be progressed in their areas. The assessments of needs submitted by Kildare County Council and the other water services authorities were subsequently appraised in my Department in the context of the funds available and key criteria that complemented those used by the authorities.

These processes were a key input to the contracts and schemes included in my Department’s Water Services Investment Programme 2010 – 2012, a copy of which is available in the Oireachtas Library. The Programme includes contracts under construction and to commence to the value of over €172 million in County Kildare during the period of the Programme.

Progress under the Water Services Investment Programme 2010-2012, has recently been reviewed and through this process, consideration was given to any newly emerging priority contracts and schemes submitted by water services authorities for addition to the programme. Some 39 contracts have been added to the Programme as a result of the review, including two in County Kildare with a total value of €19.6 million.

Responsibility for the administration of the Rural Water Programme, which includes group water schemes, has been devolved to local authorities since 1997. Kildare County Council have been allocated a block grant of €1,351,000 for 2011 under the devolved Rural Water Programme. The selection and approval of individual schemes for advancement and funding under the programme, within the overall priorities set by my Department and subject to the block grant allocations provided, is therefore a matter for the local authorities.