Ireland’s water supply infrastructure still inadequately maintained
13 February 2015
Three counties in the Republic of Ireland – Kerry, Longford and Roscommon – have water supply infrastructure that is in an unacceptable condition according to a report issued today by Engineers Ireland.
Published during this year’s Engineers Week, the report which graded water supply infrastructure regionally found that the majority of the Greater Dublin area’s water supply was fit for purpose but boil notices in Wicklow lowered the overall assessment grade. ‘The State of Ireland 2015 – a review of infrastructure’ now in its fifth year of publication, stated that though some infrastructure has been completed since 2011, a decrease in overall capital expenditure was now having an knock-on effect to development as the economy improves.
While the overall grades for each element of infrastructure – communications, energy, transport, waste, water and flooding – remained largely unchanged from last year, sustainable transport infrastructure dropped from a C to a D and the report calls for the development of a new National Spatial Strategy to prioritise public transport policies.
The report comes at a time when Engineers Ireland, the engineering profession’s representative body, has requested that a national register of engineers is established to ensure competence standards are maintained. Speaking at the publication of the report, John Power, chartered engineer, director general of Engineers Ireland, acknowledged that the consequences of the financial downturn would be felt more acutely as the country’s economy improves and a skills shortage was inevitable.
“After a period of stagnant growth in the construction industry, vital skills have been lost by Ireland as a great number of our country’s civil engineers looked for work abroad. Now with the upturn and hopefully increased investment in infrastructure, companies will seek to attract the proper skilled workforce back to Ireland. Engineers Ireland wants to ensure that those engineers who return and indeed all those who choose to enter the profession, are competent to carry out their duties and a national register of qualified engineers is the most common sense approach to this,” he said.
Recommendations in the report call on energy stakeholders to implement the lessons learnt to improve public consultation processes when it comes to large infrastructure projects and in the transport chapter, appeals to progress funding for national road projects is repeated. Communications went from a B+ to a B, a minor grade change to reflect the Government’s lack of specifying a date for achieving the National Broadband Plan objectives.
The report which can be viewed in full on the Engineers Ireland website, State of Ireland 2015, is published as part of Engineers Week, which ran from 8 – 14 February. The week long programme of nationwide events run by Engineers Ireland aims to celebrate the world of engineering in Ireland. Over 500 events will take place nationwide over the course of the week. To find out more information about events taking place near you or to register your attendance, log onto www.engineersweek.ie
Engineers Week is coordinated on a national basis by Engineers Ireland as part of the school’s outreach programme STEPS, which is a strategic partner of Science Foundation Ireland’s (SFI) Discover Programme.http://www.engineersjournal.ie/2015/02/13/irelands-water-supply-infrastructure-still-inadequately-maintained/http://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/462290955-1024x683.jpghttp://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/462290955-300x300.jpgNewsEngineers Ireland,Ireland,Kerry,Longford,Roscommon,STEPS,water