The new Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage was informed in a briefing paper that Irish Water was working largely through local authorities. WSTO works with the sector, the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Irish Water and other stakeholders and supports the implementation of the Government`s policy of transitioning water services to Irish Water. The future relationship between Irish Water and local authorities would be managed through a local water liaison office. Although existing legislation protects the salaries, pensions and conditions of local authority staff when they switch to Irish Water, some local authority staff choose to work somewhere, with the exception of the water service, in order to avoid the risk of relocation of the civil service. M. Nolan said that in the agreement to enter into discussions with the government on its transformation plans for Irish water, it was given assurances that « there would be no mandatory convening of establishments to a single [water] unit ». Meanwhile, 330 million litres of treated water per day will be needed by 2050 in greater Dublin and the Midlands, the report says. He said, however, that the union believed that all 30,000 local government employees were threatened either by the impact of the government`s proposals on direct employment or by the impact on the finances of local councils. There is a « separation » of local water supply for consumers and businesses because an old and different agreement has been spat out on Irish water, Darragh O`Brien has been warned. Peter Nolan, the union`s national secretary, said it had come out of various meetings that the 3,000 local government employees involved in water services thought they were threatened by the government`s proposals. The tripartite government programme commits to refer the issue of constitutional recognition of a right to water to an Oireachtas Commission. « Risks are introduced into the provision of a secure water and water supply, as the legal responsibility of Irish water for water services and the actual on-site provision by local authorities are separated, » the document says. I will now reflect on the report and consider the next steps to be taken, taking into account the fact that water services are essential to the daily lives of our citizens and our economy and the resulting need to ensure that the best possible and most appropriate arrangements are made for the provision of these vital services.
He said the union`s « big battle » would likely focus on « ensuring that the future of local government will be preserved if it transfers 25 to 30 percent of its funding stream, » which comes from payments for water. . . .