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Minister O’Brien announces new Multi-annual Rural Water Programme 2024-2026

Minister O’Brien announces new Multi-annual Rural Water Programme 2024-2026

The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien today (Wednesday 17 January 2023) announced the launch of the next cycle of the Multi-annual Rural Water Programme which covers the three year period from 2024 to 2026.

The announcement today provides for €125m of capital investment in rural water infrastructure under eight different funding measures.

Local authorities are invited to submit applications for funding from now until the closing date of 12 April 2024.

Speaking on the launch today, the Minister said,

“I am delighted to launch the Multi-Annual Rural Water Programme that covers the next three-years to 2026.This programme is of vital importance in helping to provide safe and secure water services to rural areas that do not have access to Uisce Éireann services. “MARWP 2024-2026 aims to build upon the success of previous multi-annual rural water programmes. In designing the programme I have recognised the need to be responsive to the changing needs and requirements within the Rural Water Sector. As a result of extensive engagement and working in partnership with the key stakeholders in the Sector I have made some key improvements on previous programmes

I believe that these improvements will support Group Water Schemes to maintain, renew and develop their systems and networks, increasing their ability to provide safe, secure, resilient, high-quality water services to people in rural Ireland."

Some of the key changes are a significant increase in the maximum grant available per house, to €15,000 from €9,000, and recognising the fragmented nature of the sector there is a dedicated funding measure for group water schemes to amalgamate and/or rationalise, supporting their sustainability and improved water quality for consumers into the future.

To underpin the implementation of the programme the Department has drafted comprehensive documentation and extensive guidance for local authorities and group water schemes setting out their respective responsibilities and obligations.

The Department will meet with local authorities in the coming weeks and will organise workshops to support them in the preparation of their submissions. The National Federation for Group Water Schemes has been requested to provide support to their members in the preparation of applications and crucially to deliver on projects.