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Group water schemes

The responsibility for the implementation of the rural water programme was devolved to Clare County Council in 1997 and in doing so the department introduced new measures in relation to group water and sewerage schemes and small public water and sewerage schemes.

New upgrading proposals

The grant available for new schemes or extension or upgrading of existing group schemes is 85% of the approved cost subject to a cost limit of €6,475 per house, subject also to the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government's annual allocation.

Full details of the grant and procedure are set out in the explanatory memorandum [PDF, 49KB].

To apply for an extension or upgrade of the scheme, please complete and submit the Grant Application Form for Upgrading of a Group Water Scheme [PDF, 137KB] to the Rural Water Programme. 

Takeover of group schemes

Subsidy payments (advance and annual)

The annual subsidy payable towards the operating costs of providing water for domestic use to a group water supply scheme which meets the conditions of the subsidy scheme is subject to a limit of:

For 2016 expenditure:

  1. €55 for each house supplied from a public supply
  2. €117.50 for each house supplied from a private supply

For 2017 expenditure:

  1. €70.00 for each house supplied from a public supply
  2. €140.00 for each house supplied from a private supply

For 2018 expenditure:

  1. €115.00 for each house supplied from a public supply
  2. €231.00 for each house supplied from a private supply

An advance of the subsidy will be payable to the group no later than 30th June of each year and is subject to a limit of:

  1. 70% of the previous years subsidy to a maximum of 70% of the figures shown above for each house supplied from a local authority source or
  2. 70% of the previous years subsidy to a maximum of 70% of the figures shown above for each house supplied from a private source 

Revision of Subsidy towards the Operational Costs of Group Water Schemes Providing Water for Domestic Use
The Minister has announced increased and additional annual subsides for group water schemes aimed at improving rural water services. The changes, which will come into effect from 01 January 2018, are intended to bring greater equity and fairness for rural water users and ensure that domestic members of group water schemes receive comparable benefits to those receiving their water supply from Irish Water.

Following discussions on the matter between the Department and the National Federation of Group Water Schemes (NFGWS), the representative body of the group water sector, the subsidies have been increased, streamlined and new incentives introduced for smaller schemes. The current and new subsidy arrangements, as well as the rationale behind the changes, are outlined here.

The Department’s “Explanatory Memorandum - Subsidy Towards the Operational Costs of Group Water Schemes” is currently being revised, in consultation with stakeholders, to take account of the revised subsidies.  

The Department also wishes to inform local authorities that payment of grants/subsidies to group water schemes will be aligned to Government policy on encouraging the use of Eircodes. As such, each GWS will be required to provide this information for each property included in the application for subsidy payments from 1 October 2016. It is understood that individual group schemes may already collect Eircodes for their own administration purposes. This requirement is now incorporated into the relevant part of the application form in the Department’s explanatory memorandum.  An information leaflet has also been prepared to assist GWS on Eircodes.

Full details of the grant, procedure and application form are set out in the explanatory memorandum [PDF, 245KB]

Grant for the provision or necessary improvement of an individual water supply to a house - Bored well

The objective of the grant scheme is to assist households dependent on private individual water supplies who are incurring capital expenditure to:

  • Provide a piped supply of water for domestic purposes, or
  • Remedy serious deficiencies in an existing supply of water for domestic purposes

The scheme does not apply to houses to which a public or group scheme water supply has already been provided or can reasonably be provided. Works carried out before a prior inspection by the local authority do not qualify under the scheme.

The amount of a grant will be:

  1. 75% of the approved cost (or, where appropriate, the revised approved cost *) or
  2. €2,031.58 whichever is the lesser

* Where the local authority is of the opinion that the works have not been undertaken in accordance with the application, or have not been satisfactorily completed, the authority may (a) determine a revised approved cost, (b) withhold payment of the grant until the applicant carries out such alterations to the existing works or such additional works as may be notified by the authority.

* Where the local authority is of the opinion that the actual cost of the qualifying works is less than the approved cost, a revised approved cost will be determined.

Full details of the grant and procedure are set out in the explanatory memorandum [PDF, 42KB].

Well owners should check their wells to ensure their health is not at risk. This includes checking that there aren't any sources of pollution entering their well and testing the well water at least once a year, ideally following heavy rain when it is most at risk of contamination.

The EPA provide easy to use information on its website explaining what well owners should do to protect their health.

National Rural Water Monitoring Committee

The National Rural Water Monitoring Committee was set up to monitor and advise on the development and implementation of policy in relation to the rural water programme. This committee has representatives from the private group water scheme sector, the local authorities, rural organisation and the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government under the stewardship of an independent chairperson.

The committee will report annually to the minister on the operation of the devolved programme.

County Rural Water Monitoring Committee

County committees were set up in most counties to advise on the operation of the devolved programme locally. The Clare County RWMC (Rural Water Monitoring Committee) is made up as follows:

  • 3 members of the council
  • 1 member from the IFA
  • 1 member from the ICMSA
  • 2 members from the county federation of group water schemes
  • 2 council officials

County Liaison Officer

The County Liaison Officer was appointed to strengthen the consultative process and to facilitate the flow of information between the group water sector and the local authority. The County Liaison Officer deals with the day to day issues in the implementation of the devolved programme and can be contacted at the council offices or by telephone at (065) 6866115 or email groupwater@clarecoco.ie.

Contact details

Rural Water Services, 
Physical Development Directorate, 
Clare County Council,
Waterpark House, 
Drumbiggle, 

Ennis,
Co. Clare

Telephone: (065) 6866115
Fax: (065) 6828233

Page last reviewed: 06/02/18

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