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Any plans for new reservoirs?

  • 30-07-2013 10:00am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 131 ✭✭ ForiegnNational


    With the recent "drought" (you remember, just before the flash floods), why is nobody suggesting the building of new reservoirs?

    Not only could they supply national needs, but I believe there is a market for exporting water. Not just spring water (aka Evian), but large scale water trading (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_trading).

    Water is often referred to as "blue gold", so it seems with our natural resources, it is bizarre we can barely supply our own needs, let alone commercialise this fantastic natural resource.

    Just a thought...


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,962 ✭✭✭✭ Del2005


    Shipping water isn't cost affective, it's too heavy and cheap to ship from an Island. But give it a few years and it may be more cost affective.

    There's plans to divert water from the Shannon to a huge reservoir in the Bog of Allen to cover the shortages in Dublin.

    IMO it'd be better to spend money on fixing our leaking pipes before pouring more water into the ground.


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,290 ✭✭✭✭ Cookie_Monster


    Del2005 wrote: »
    IMO it'd be better to spend money on fixing our leaking pipes before pouring more water into the ground.

    This is the problem, not storage capacity but wastage and leakage rates.
    Far more worthwhile putting the cost of a new reservoir in pipe repair.

    The planned water meters should also aid by reducing usage and allowing slightly better tracking of leaks.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,002 f1dan


    The issue of pipe repair is an interesting one. I recently came across the term 'economic level of leakage' i.e. the point where the cost of fixing leaks outweighs the cost of providing more water. I was told that this could be as high as 50% in rural areas


  • Registered Users Posts: 20,856 ✭✭✭✭ Alun


    I remember once when I was on one of the Channel Islands, I saw them repairing water pipes, not by digging them up, but inserting flexible plastic pipes inside the existing pipes. They didn't have to dig up the entire length of the pipeline, only small sections at regular intervals. Seemed like quite a clever solution


  • Registered Users Posts: 78,224 ✭✭✭✭ Victor


    Digging up pipes costs probably €100-200 per metre or more for normal distribution (not transmission) pipes. May be economic if doing it in conjunction with electricity / gas / phone lines, but potentially very expensive.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,419 ✭✭✭ Cool Mo D


    This is the problem, not storage capacity but wastage and leakage rates.
    Far more worthwhile putting the cost of a new reservoir in pipe repair.

    The planned water meters should also aid by reducing usage and allowing slightly better tracking of leaks.

    I think it's easy to say this, but you actually have to do the sums to check if it's the case. It's not always simple to trace exactly where a leak is, and if you have a large number of small leaks in different places, fixing them would be very expensive.

    A lot of leaks may well be quickly fixed when water metering comes into effect, as homeowners are supposed to fix leaks on their own property, but they are hardly likely to do so now, when it costs them nothing to leave it.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 197 ✭✭ theSHU


    They are planning a new big resevoir at Portarlington to service Dublin etc. It will also be a great water sports amenity just like Blessington Lakes.

    http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/huge-reservoir-will-supply-shannon-water-to-dublin-29440037.html


  • Registered Users Posts: 474 ✭✭ Pixel Eater


    Why isn't there more rain water capture systems in place in our urban areas? The amounts of rain we get buildings could provide a large percentage of their requirements, even it is only for toilets and kitchen appliances (which is the bulk of water usage in any case).

    Would cut down on the soon to be introduced water charges and greatly reduced the dependance on external sources like rivers and reservoirs.

    Seems obvious to me; unless I'm missing something?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,084 ✭✭✭ oppenheimer1


    Why isn't there more rain water capture systems in place in our urban areas? The amounts of rain we get buildings could provide a large percentage of their requirements, even it is only for toilets and kitchen appliances (which is the bulk of water usage in any case).

    Would cut down on the soon to be introduced water charges and greatly reduced the dependance on external sources like rivers and reservoirs.

    Seems obvious to me; unless I'm missing something?
    Rainwater still requires a basic level of treatment even for the most basic of uses, such as washing clothes and flushing toilets. The cost of providing tanks and filtration equipment, in addition to running costs currently exceeds the cost of tap water per metre cubed provided.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,539 ✭✭✭✭ Grandeeod


    Any potential for tapping into underground reservoirs in Ireland?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 474 ✭✭ Pixel Eater


    Rainwater still requires a basic level of treatment even for the most basic of uses, such as washing clothes and flushing toilets. The cost of providing tanks and filtration equipment, in addition to running costs currently exceeds the cost of tap water per metre cubed provided.

    Really? Even for toilets? I find that extraordinary. Surely though with the impending introduction of water charges it will become more economically viable to do so?

    In any case it's a valuable resource that literally falls from the sky so rain water harvesting makes sense.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,469 ✭✭✭ Potatoeman


    Really? Even for toilets? I find that extraordinary. Surely though with the impending introduction of water charges it will become more economically viable to do so?

    In any case it's a valuable resource that literally falls from the sky so rain water harvesting makes sense.

    You would need one system for drinking water and another for toilets so double the piping.


  • Registered Users Posts: 474 ✭✭ Pixel Eater


    Potatoeman wrote: »
    You would need one system for drinking water and another for toilets so double the piping.

    That hardly seems like a major obstacle. It's relatively few pipes within the confines of a building compared to hundreds of kms of underground pipes.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,830 ✭✭✭ markpb


    That hardly seems like a major obstacle. It's relatively few pipes within the confines of a building compared to hundreds of kms of underground pipes.

    It wouldn't have been a major obstacle thirty years ago, before a significant chunk of the houses and apartments in the country were built. Retrofitting it into existing housing now would be very challenging.


  • Registered Users Posts: 78,224 ✭✭✭✭ Victor


    Fitting a water harvesting tank and connecting it to a toilet system isn't a huge job.

    However, most roofs wouldn't have enough rainfall to cover all toilet usage, so using it for drinking water doesn't arise. Only very basic screening, not necessarily filtering is needed for toilets.

    For a typical 100m2 semi-detached house, you get 50m2 of roof. With 700-1500mm per year of rainfall in most of the country, that is 35-75m3 per house of water per year. In theory, this equates to 3,000-10,000 flushes per year (dual flush toilets would mean you would get more). A household of 4 would use perhaps 10,000-12,000 flushes per year. However, given that you will have periods of no rainfall or excessive rainfall, unless you have a lot of storage, you won't be able to store all the water.


  • Registered Users Posts: 474 ✭✭ Pixel Eater


    Victor wrote: »
    Fitting a water harvesting tank and connecting it to a toilet system isn't a huge job.

    However, most roofs wouldn't have enough rainfall to cover all toilet usage, so using it for drinking water doesn't arise. Only very basic screening, not necessarily filtering is needed for toilets.

    For a typical 100m2 semi-detached house, you get 50m2 of roof. With 700-1500mm per year of rainfall in most of the country, that is 35-75m3 per house of water per year. In theory, this equates to 3,000-10,000 flushes per year (dual flush toilets would mean you would get more). A household of 4 would use perhaps 10,000-12,000 flushes per year. However, given that you will have periods of no rainfall or excessive rainfall, unless you have a lot of storage, you won't be able to store all the water.

    Nonetheless it would make sense to have it as standard in new builds especially apartment blocks. Even if it could not cover the total water requirements it'll still reduced the amount that is pumped in.


  • Registered Users Posts: 78,224 ✭✭✭✭ Victor


    Nonetheless it would make sense to have it as standard in new builds especially apartment blocks. Even if it could not cover the total water requirements it'll still reduced the amount that is pumped in.
    While it might make a system more practical, realise that apartments tend to have much less roof area per apartment than houses.

    And there will be a row on how to share out the water. :)


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 89,766 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Capt'n Midnight


    This is the problem, not storage capacity but wastage and leakage rates.
    Far more worthwhile putting the cost of a new reservoir in pipe repair.

    The planned water meters should also aid by reducing usage and allowing slightly better tracking of leaks.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-12161393
    "Meters typically reduce water consumption by 10%."

    10% isn't a lot considering how much it's going to cost

    it will be a very log time before water metering will pay for anything other thant the water meters themselves.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,106 antoobrien


    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-12161393

    10% isn't a lot considering how much it's going to cost

    it will be a very log time before water metering will pay for anything other thant the water meters themselves.

    Metering will cut out a lot more than that if the figures released by Galway City Council, who put average consumption at 495l/day, are anything to go by. They identified 18 properties with a combined usage of 27.5 million gallons per year (123.75m litres) - working out at a daily average of just under 19,000l/day.

    Using census figures for occupied dwellings, fixing those 18 properties alone reduces the average consumption in the city to about 440 litres per day, which is a 10% drop. This is before we get to changed attitudes about how water is used.


  • Registered Users Posts: 605 Todd Toddington III


    Rainwater still requires a basic level of treatment even for the most basic of uses, such as washing clothes and flushing toilets. The cost of providing tanks and filtration equipment, in addition to running costs currently exceeds the cost of tap water per metre cubed provided.

    I really really doubt this, especially for flushing toilets considering the effluent ends up being treated (or should be at any rate) at the outflow.

    Edit: on second reading you said basic treatment like filtering which I agree would be needed. I was in new Zealand a few years back and a lot of houses in small towns had water harvesting systems. Surely it would make economic sense for the provision of grants like for solar panels etc for the installation of systems


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  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 17,106 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sam Russell


    Alun wrote: »
    I remember once when I was on one of the Channel Islands, I saw them repairing water pipes, not by digging them up, but inserting flexible plastic pipes inside the existing pipes. They didn't have to dig up the entire length of the pipeline, only small sections at regular intervals. Seemed like quite a clever solution

    My street (in Ballsbridge) had this done a few years ago, and meters fitted. We have not been given any results but a few houses had leaks fixed following this. No attempt was made to co-ordinate work with gas or electricity. Gas did a similar job on the gas mains.

    The new pipe gave us better quality supply (both cleaner water and higher pressure) as there was 50% silt in the pipe.

    The water work was carried out by Anglia Water.


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 89,766 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Capt'n Midnight


    antoobrien wrote: »
    Metering will cut out a lot more than that if the figures released by Galway City Council, who put average consumption at 495l/day, are anything to go by. They identified 18 properties with a combined usage of 27.5 million gallons per year (123.75m litres) - working out at a daily average of just under 19,000l/day.

    Using census figures for occupied dwellings, fixing those 18 properties alone reduces the average consumption in the city to about 440 litres per day, which is a 10% drop. This is before we get to changed attitudes about how water is used.
    That's just people taking the píss

    Why should the entire country have to spend hundreds of millions on meters, labour, and interest payments because of a very small number of people. I'd be shocked if there wasn't already a legal remedy that the council could use against them.
    He said it was unfair that some homeowners could be using so much water, and causing pressure problems in neighbouring properties

    How much did it cost the council to find those leaks ?
    Did it cost less than installing a meter in every single property ??

    In the UK they have a simplier system for the roll out - you get a water bill, and if you feel it's too much you have the option of getting a meter , and I'm not sure that if the council think your bill is too low they can put a meter in. So it targets those who benefit most rather than a blanket rollout.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,106 antoobrien


    That's just people taking the píss

    Not necessarily, a few of the addresses were for people that would have had just pathways on front of the door, so no soggy lawns etc to tip them off that there's a problem with their property. The same kind of findings were made a few years ago in dublin.
    How much did it cost the council to find those leaks ?
    Did it cost less than installing a meter in every single property ??

    The way it was done in Galway was to ensure that a mains was working properly (as close as possible to 0 leakage), then meter the houses. IIRC last year, including capital works, GCC spent 4.5m on the water network (which could include long term costs like the treatment plant that had to be put in a few years back).


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 17,106 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sam Russell


    That's just people taking the píss

    Why should the entire country have to spend hundreds of millions on meters, labour, and interest payments because of a very small number of people. I'd be shocked if there wasn't already a legal remedy that the council could use against them.


    How much did it cost the council to find those leaks ?
    Did it cost less than installing a meter in every single property ??

    In the UK they have a simplier system for the roll out - you get a water bill, and if you feel it's too much you have the option of getting a meter , and I'm not sure that if the council think your bill is too low they can put a meter in. So it targets those who benefit most rather than a blanket rollout.

    Commercial rates in Dublin work like that. A fixed rate for premises without meters and a volume charge for premises with a meter. I assume meters are fitted to premises that consume above a standard amount. Fitting a meter would give rise to a smaller bill for low users.


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 89,766 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Capt'n Midnight


    antoobrien wrote: »
    The way it was done in Galway was to ensure that a mains was working properly (as close as possible to 0 leakage), then meter the houses. IIRC last year, including capital works, GCC spent 4.5m on the water network (which could include long term costs like the treatment plant that had to be put in a few years back).
    So they are spending less than 4m in a normal year ?

    27857 Households in Galway http://www.cso.ie/quicktables/GetQuickTables.aspx?FileName=CNA33.asp&TableName=Number+of+private+households+and+persons+in+private+households+in+each+Province+,+County+and+City&StatisticalProduct=DB_CN

    At a cost of €500 per meter that's going to cost nearly €14 million not counting interest payments.

    If that saves 10% water and that somehow magically translates into a 10% cost reduction on maintenance (lots of fixed costs, esp. wages) then it would take 35 years to pay for the meters out of the savings. :mad:

    Just being fattened up for privatisation IMHO



    Oh BTW the property tax is already raising over three million a year in Galway City
    "This equates to just over three million euro in payments of the tax and three point nine million in declared LPT."



    On the grand scale of things the Bord Na Mona reservoir which will supply one third of the population will cost ~ €470m
    http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/huge-reservoir-will-supply-shannon-water-to-dublin-29440037.html

    The water meters will cost €539m

    The cost of metering is higher than the cost of fixing the problems that metering is supposed to reduce


  • Registered Users Posts: 78,224 ✭✭✭✭ Victor


    At a cost of €500 per meter that's going to cost nearly €14 million not counting interest payments.
    Where is this number coming from?

    Is there an official number?


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 89,766 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Capt'n Midnight


    Victor wrote: »
    Where is this number coming from?

    Is there an official number?
    The media is running with €539

    http://www.irishtimes.com/news/environment/roll-out-of-water-meters-starts-at-house-in-maynooth-1.1488410
    At 27,000 meters per month, the three-year time frame to introduce water charges for all households will cost €539 million.

    ...

    A spokesman for the Department of Environment disagreed with Ms Coppinger’s figures and said domestic consumption was estimated at 39 per cent of water use while the amount lost to leakage was 41 per cent, based on the Local Authority Service Indicators Report from 2011.


    ...

    According to Irish Water contractors must reinstate the ground outside properties within a maximum of 10 working days, otherwise they will not be paid.


  • Registered Users Posts: 78,224 ✭✭✭✭ Victor


    The number mentioned is €539 million, not €539.

    Those numbers are confused. 27,000 per month adds to 972,000. elsewhere is says more than a million. Census 2011 says there are about 1,654,208 households (not exactly the same as the number of residential units) and a few hundred thousand business premises.


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 89,766 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Capt'n Midnight


    Victor wrote: »
    The number mentioned is €539 million, not €539.
    DoMXbqp.jpg


    Those numbers are confused. 27,000 per month adds to 972,000. elsewhere is says more than a million. Census 2011 says there are about 1,654,208 households (not exactly the same as the number of residential units) and a few hundred thousand business premises.
    IIRC there was a figure of ~ €830 per install when interest payments / cost of financing were taken into account

    Yes the numbers are all over the shop , that's why I said €500 each
    http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/home-owners-to-pay-500-water-meter-bill-238088.html


    we are back to this again
    http://www.irisheconomy.ie/index.php/tag/water/
    A basic water meter costs €60, a fancy one €150. (The government appears to have picked the latter model.) An experienced plumber can fit a meter in 15 minutes or so. This is not terribly expensive, but many people are hard-up.
    Wireless meters have security vulnerabilities and don't work as reliablly as they would like, so it's not going to save all the labour on reading as they will still have to inspect many of the meters rather than a drive by


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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,275 ✭✭✭ Pete_Cavan


    Wireless meters have security vulnerabilities and don't work as reliablly as they would like, so it's not going to save all the labour on reading as they will still have to inspect many of the meters rather than a drive by
    Why do you think wireless meters have security vulnerabilities? This would be the same for any type of meter, ie. someone can tamper with the meter regardless of whether it is wireless or not. Not sure why you think they are not reliable either, its pretty basic radio technology. And Automated Meter Reading (AMR) technology will save a lot of money, obstructions on meter boxes, such as parked cars, have the potential to be very costly in terms of sending personnel out again to return to properties which were visited already with no guarantee the meter will be read the second time.


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