In his latest monthly article on environmental issues, Professor
Frank J. Convery, Chairperson of Comhar Sustainable Development
Council (SDC), highlights the need for immediate action to
prevent future water shortages in Ireland.
He looks at some of the solutions being put forward by policymakers
– such as shipping water from the west coast of Ireland to
the east – and argues that charging for water would make more
Whenever we think we are running out of something – whether
it is oil, atmospheric capacity to absorb greenhouse gases,
hospital beds, water or road space – the universal human impulse
is to first see if we can increase the supply and capacity.
Making better use of what we already have – demand-side management
– struggles to get onto political, personal and corporate
Water will be the new oil and societies will thrive or fail,
in large part, on the basis of how smartly they address supply
and demand. Unless we take action, the Greater Dublin Area
will run short of water in less than 10 years. Current policy
focuses only on one ‘real’ option – to pipe water 105
kilometres from Lough Ree on the river Shannon to Dublin.
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