The National Water Summit

Working towards a sustainable future for Ireland's water needs

There are huge developments in motion for one of Ireland's most important natural resources. With the National Development Plan 2007-2013 including an unprecedented €4.7 billion investment in water - as well as significant private investment - there are major issues and challenges to be addressed regarding the necessary infrastructure, treatment and planning for future capital projects.

With this in mind, The Sunday Business Post and conference partner, iQuest will host The National Water Summit. The agenda this year examines how regulation will shape long and short-term strategy. The industry's approach for optimal infrastructure solutions will be explored - as well as our need for increasingly sophisticated infrastructure for treatment and distribution. Current and future solutions for pollution, pathogens, monitoring and control will be examined.

The Conference will also be looking at international programmes and best industry practice, as well as the future for metering projects, the role of the private sector and the areas of public works procurement and maintenance contracts.


Topics to include -

How we may deliver high performance capital efficiency and strategy plans
The implementation and impact of the Water Services Act
Responding to the investment requirements of European Directives
Environmental monitoring and process understanding
Key aspects in dealing with long-term operation and maintenance contracts
New contracts for public works procurement
Strategic approaches to treatment
Asset Management - the challenge of upgrading and maintaining systems
Rain water harvesting
Efficient water loss management
Performance Management
Recent water metering experiences
Case studies


At a time when Ireland's water industry is seeking to overcome major supply challenges, improve service and seek significant efficiency improvements, this conference is a must attend for Ireland's water sector. It will provide delegates with a unique opportunity to question and probe expert industry speakers regarding their strategies and ambitions for the market.

Meet and network with the people shaping the future of the Irish water industry ....

The conference has been researched and designed for key decision-makers in -

  • Local Authority Managers
  • Local Authority Engineers
  • Heads of Water Services & Supply
  • General Managers (Asset Mgt, Planning, Maintenance, Recycling, Wastewater Mgt)
  • Project Directors/Managers
  • Procurement Managers
  • Infrastructure Managers
  • Planning Officials
  • Technical Managers
  • Large Water Users
  • Consultants
  • Finance & Legal Mamagers.


Dr Norman E (Jake) Peters, Research Hydrologist, U.S. Geographical Survey
Jake Peters is a research hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey. He is the former President of the International Commission on Water Quality of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences and is currently the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics liaison with the International Council of Science's Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment.

He has convened many international workshops and symposiums - on water quality, in particular. He has also edited numerous proceedings volumes, as well as publishing many research papers in the mainstream literature. Jake is an Associate Editor of the International Journal Hydrological Processes.

Jake's primary research foci are atmospheric deposition and effects on watershed biogeochemistry and processes controlling and associated modelling of streamflow generation and water-quality genesis in watersheds - ranging from undisturbed to urban. Jake is currently interested in comparing the temporal and spatial variability of many inorganic and organic solutes in streamwater over a range of impacted watersheds. The primary purpose of this research is to trace sources of contamination and to decipher the relative importance of hydrological and biogeochemical processes along hydrological pathways as they are affected by human activities.

Katharine Bryan, Chief Executive, Northern Ireland Water
A graduate of Durham and Aston Universities, Katherine Bryan has divided her career between the water and environment sectors. She began work in the Fisheries department of the former Severn Trent Water Authority - where she later became involved in research and development, relating to all aspects of the business.

Following privatisation of the water industry in 1989, Katherine held Regional Manager posts in the Severn Trent, Wessex and South West Regions of the National Rivers Authority, before being appointed Regional Director, Environment Agency South West in 1995.

Katharine took up the post of Chief Executive with the North of Scotland Water Authority in 2000. In 2002, she became Chairman of the Joint Nature Conservation Committee - and, in addition, in 2003, Chairman of the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management. In January 2004, she was appointed Chief Executive of Water Service, Northern Ireland - to lead the transformation of Water Service from Civil Service Agency to a self-financing Government Owned Company - Northern Ireland Water.

Katharine draws on her senior management career in the water and environment sectors in England, Wales and Scotland to deliver this flagship reform project for Northern Ireland. Involved with generalists and specialists - ranging from landscape architects to fisheries scientists to radioactive waste inspectors - she has led or contributed to change management on national, regional and local scales.

Dr Jon Hargreaves, Chief Executive, Scottish Water
In July 2000, Jon joined East of Scotland Water (ESW) as Chief Executive and, in April 2002, he was appointed Chief Executive of Scottish Water.

Jon has had 32 years experience in the UK water industry - together with experience in international markets.

Prior to joining ESW, he was Managing Director of Northumbrian Water Ltd, Managing Director of ENTEC Europe Ltd - the engineering and environmental consultants - and, finally, Managing Director of Northumbrian Lyonnaise International.

Jon graduated BSc in Applied Biology and was awarded a Doctorate from Durham University and is Fellow of Institute of Civil Engineers. In 2002, Jon was responsible for merging the 3 Water businesses in Scotland to create Scottish Water - the 4th largest water company in the UK.

Since 2002, the 40% efficiencies in operating cost and the 20% efficiencies in delivery of a £21 million investment programme have saved customers over £1bn. At the same time, customer service has risen sharply.

Professor Tom Collins, Head of the Education Department, National University of Ireland, Maynooth
Professor Tom Collins is Head of the Education Department at National University of Ireland, Maynooth.
Prior to this, he was Director of Dundalk Institute of Technology. As Director of Dundalk, he oversaw the establishment of the National Centre for Fresh Water Studies in the College.

He is Chairman of the National Rural Water Monitoring Committee and was a member of the Independent Salmon Group established in 2006 to examine the implications of Alignment with the Scientific Advice for the Commercial Salmon Fishing Sector.

Professor Collins has had a lengthy involvement in National and European programmes concerned with environmental and rural development issues. He was a member of the first National Leader Monitoring Committee, was instrumental with sister colleges in the National University of Ireland in establishing the first Distance Education degree programme in Rural Development and has an extensive range of publications in the area of Local Development.

Currently, he is Chair of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, is a member of the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland and a member of the high-level review group overseeing the OECD study on the Irish Public Service.



DAY 1 - Tuesday October 2nd 2007

8:00 Registration and light breakfast

8.45 Chairperson's opening remarks
Professor Yvonne Scannell, School of Law, Trinity College


John Gormley, T.D,
Minister for Environment, Heritage and Local Government

Environmental monitoring and process understanding in support of environmental management and policy

Jake Peters
Research Hydrologist
US Geological Survey
  • Air, land, and water resources are interconnected, cyclical and cascading
  • Effective environmental management/policy requires process understanding
  • Understanding and assessing change requires environmental monitoring
  • Better environmental models for prediction require process understanding and monitioring
  • Flexible environmental management and policy collaborates large uncertainties in process understanding and environmental modelling.

9:40 Strengthening the legislative base
Pat Keane, Assistant Principal Officer, Water Services Policy Section, DEHLG (Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government)

  • Water Services Act 2007
    - Consolidation of legislative code for water services
    - Strategic Planning and Management
    - Performance standards and enforcement Water Pricing
    - Water Conservation
    - Metering.

10:10 Responding to investment requirements of European Union
Gerry Galvin
Principal Advisor

(Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government)

  • Directives
  • National Development
  • Plan Service Investment
  • Needs assessment
  • EU Obligations
  • Facilitating Development / Demand management strategies.



11:00 Key aspects in dealing with long-term operation and maintenance contracts
Thomas A Ruddy, Director, EPS Pumping & Treatment System

  • Understanding the client & contract requirements
  • Performance targets - water & wastewater quality
  • Interface issues - risk allocation and sharing
  • Capital replacement funds, Health & Safety issues, quality management systems - ISO 9000; ISO 14001; 2PMS
  • Internal & external auditing.

11:30 New contracts for public works procurement
Eamon Conlon
A&L; Goodbody

  • The new contracting environment
  • Procurement of consultants and contractors
  • Risk allocation in the new contracts.

12:00 Strategic approaches to delivering modern water treatment projects
David McBratney
Operations Director
RPS Consulting Engineers

  • Primary quality objectives
  • Threats to delivering clean water
  • Recent technological advances
  • Project risk management
  • Barriers to successful implementation of project.


Sponsored by SHAY MURTAGH

1:55 Welcome back from the Afternoon Chair

Shirley Gallagher, Chairperson, Environmental Sciences Association of Ireland

Asset Management - the challenge of upgrading and maintaining the systems in Northern Ireland
Katherine Bryan
Chief Executive
Northern Ireland Water

  • Upgrading the systems - past, present and the future
  • Investment required and ensuring efficient delivery
  • Maintaining £6.5bn of assets - approach to delivering good asset management systems
  • Sustainability in asset management.


2:40 Protection of Source - harnessing community support for low-tech solutions
Dr Suzanne Linnane
National Centre for fresh water studies
Dundalk Institute of Technology

  • Nature and extent of pollution in Irish surface waters - implementing practical and sustainable solutions
  • Community participation - the key to success
  • The National Source Protection Pilot Project as a practical model of drinking water providers.

3:10 Pathogens in Water: Monitoring, Control and Technologies available for Treatment
Paul O'Callaghan (B.Sc, M.Sc) & Dr Hans-Gerd Gethke (Doctorate-Eng)
Response Engineering

  • Emerging pathogens
  • Challenges in detecting these pathogens
  • Monitoring & Control
  • Technologies for Treatment.


4:00 Case Study: The River Basin Districts

Sean Ó Breasail, Project Coordinator, South Western River Basin District.

Rain Water Harvesting: A Forgotten Technology?
Dr Glyn Hyett
CWM (Celtic Water Management UK) Limited

  • Principles and Practice in North West Europe - Key Features, Components and Benefits
  • Safety of Rainwater in the Home - Government Support ... Who wins and who pays?
  • Ways forward for the industry.

5:00 DAY 1 CLOSE


DAY 2 - Wednesday October 3rd 2007

8:00 Registration and light breakfast

8.50 Welcome from Morning Chair
Peter Brennan, Chief Executive, EPS Consulting


The challenges facing water and sewerage services in Northern Ireland
Conor Murphy
Regional Development
Northern Ireland

  • The historic context of the investment challenges
  • Improving services
  • Reforms
  • The way forward.

9:25 New directions in financing - How much needs to be spent?
Michele Connolly

  • What is the role of financial services sector
  • Financing environmental improvements
  • Where will the money come from?

9:50 The Implications of The Greater Dublin Strategic Drainage Study
Michael Hand, Executive Chairman, PH McCarthy Consulting Engineers

  • Population & land use projections
  • Catchment modelling
  • Drainage policies
  • Catchment upgrades
  • Strategic drainage plan.

Efficient Delivery of Scotland's Quality and Standards programme
Dr Jon Hargreaves
Chief Executive
Scottish Water

  • Following the merger of three Water Authorities in Scotland to create Scottish water in 2002, a £2.3 billion investment programme had to be delivered for £1.8 billion
  • Water created a unique partnership joint-venture company with two utilities and contractors
  • By 2006/2007, 98% of outputs have been delivered via over 5000 projects
  • Savings of over £500m have been achieved.



11:00 Developing best practice management of water supply
Gerard O'Leary
Programme Manager
Office of Environmental Enforcement

  • Sludge Disposal
  • Developing best practice management of water supply and wastewater services
  • Managing and maintaining infrastructure assets
  • Enhancing service delivery through coordinated efforts.

11:30 Efficient Water Loss Management
Gerard Gibney
Ryan Hanley

  • Implementation Strategies
  • Examination of Efficiency Targets
  • Resourcing
  • Sustainability - An Integrated Approach
  • Moving Forward - The Future of Water Loss Management in Ireland.

12:00 Transforming the Irish group water sector
Brian MacDonald, Research and Evaluation Officer, NFGWS (National Federation of Group Water Schemes)

  • Evolution of community-owned water services
  • Crisis in the sector
  • The partnership model as the basis of change
  • Implementing the agreed strategy
  • Models of best practice
  • Is there a viable future for this sector?


12:30 Performance Management Systems
Chris Bateman, Joint Managing Director, Earth Tech Ireland

  • Managing and monitoring water management assets
  • How is it working in the public sector?
  • Transition from old systems
  • Penalties.


2:00 Welcome back from Afternoon Chair
Jerry Grant
Managing Director
RPS Consulting Engineers

2:05 Water Issues for the Business Community
Donal Buckley, Head of Business Infrastructure, IBEC

  • How infrastructure is paid for - scope, level and consistency of water and waste water charges
  • How investment, charges and service quality is regulated
  • The needs of business.


2:30 Recent Water Metering Experience in Ireland

Kevin Murray
Atkins Consulting
  • The development of water metering projects in Ireland and contract procurement
  • Issues that have arisen in water pricing and water metering projects - including domestic allowances, multiple occupancy, difficult-to-locate connections, automatic meter reading and billing matters.

Sligo Water Meter Study - Background to Sligo Pilot
Seamus Concannon
Director of Infrastructural Services
Sligo County Council

  • DBO Strategy - to maximise revenue collection through the use of competition in a DBO process - covering meter installation, reading billing and debt collection
  • Adopted System - manual read system wins out
  • Communications - the challenge of getting an understanding of the system across to customers
  • Database - the importance of compiling an accurate database
  • Outturn - how the system bedded in - has it made a difference?


What are the best methods for good water management?

  • Is private sector participation the solution for a more efficient water industry?
  • Are local authorities better placed to manage water supplies?
  • The future for water pricing / Challenges for pricing and metering.

Panellists include -
- Donal Buckley, Head of Business Infrastructure, IBEC
- Tom Dunne, Irish Farmers Association
- Jack Keyes, County Manager, Cavan County Council
- Gerry Galvin, Principal Adviser (Water) and head of the Water Inspectorate.

The Wild Salmon; A barometer of Environmental Distress
Professor Tom Collins
National Rural Monitoring Committee

  • An overview of ground water quality in Ireland as indicated by fluctuations in Wild Salmon stocks
  • The water quality problem in rural group water schemes
  • An exploration of the main issues for future practice arising from this experience - especially concerning the interplay between local voluntary effort, the Local Authorities and Central Government in the upgrading of group water schemes
  • Emerging issues for rural water quality - especially concerning source protection, water treatment and water conservation
  • The environmental challenge in the context of economic and social development imperatives confronting rural communities.




There are a number of promotional opportunities available that will increase your brand profile and generate business leads among decision-makers attending this event.

For details, call Suzanne Brennan on 087 9191 292 or email: [email protected]



RPS is Ireland's leading multi-disciplinary, all-island consultancy - providing Planning, Engineering and Environmental services. Our success is based on our commitment to excellence, innovation and the expertise and dedication of our staff.

RPS has over 40 years of experience in the area of Water Resources and Services and have been at the forefront of delivering on the provision and development of Ireland and Northern Ireland's physical infrastructure.

We specialise in strategic planning of Water Resource Management, Water Supply and Wastewater Engineering - employing specialist Engineers and Scientists in the various disciplines. In Ireland, RPS is playing a leading role in implementing the Water Framework Directive and in the development of Sustainable best practices in Water Resource Management. With the integration of our business, we now advise on the Water Resource Management of most of Ireland's river catchments - North and South.

The range of expertise available within RPS make us the market leader in Water Resources and Water Services in Ireland and Northern Ireland. RPS services cover all aspects of the water cycle.

RPS have been leading water services projects for several decades and have a successful record in delivering projects - from initial feasibility status and concept design, through to planning and construction. RPS can offer a comprehensive range of services in the field of hydraulic and environmental improvements to watercourses, culverts and open channels.

RPS Services Include -

  • Source Identification and Abstraction
  • Source Protection and Management
  • Water/Wastewater Treatment
  • Flooding and Drainage
  • Water Quality
  • Outfalls and Sludge
  • Coastal Processes
  • Marine Engineering.

For more information - Click Here


is the largest engineering consultancy in the UK and Ireland, the largest multidisciplinary consultancy in Europe and the third largest design team in the world (

Our staff include engineers, architects, surveyors, cost and project managers, planners, management consultants, geologists and experts in information technology, telecommunications and environmental management. The majority of our work is focused on the efficient operation of our clients' capital programmes.

We -

  • Plan all aspects of our clients' projects - conducting studies covering technical, logistical, legal, environmental and financial considerations.
  • Design systems, processes, buildings and civil structures. We develop cutting-edge solutions and combine them with tried and tested technologies to achieve an optimal result.
  • Enable complex programmes, delivering one-off projects and managing ongoing processes to reduce timescales, cost and disruption - allowing our clients to focus on their core operations.

Our Irish offices are in Dublin, Cork, Galway and Belfast.


Response Engineering has grown rapidly and is now one of the largest companies in the Water and Wastewater Treatment sectors in Ireland and has offices in Cork, Charleville, Dublin and Donegal.

The company is fully experienced in the build, design/build and design/build/operate sectors of the water industry and undertakes work on all sizes of projects in both the water and wastewater treatment sectors. Response Engineering has a philosophy of constant improvement in an effort to try and achieve total satisfaction for the customer and believes that cooperation between all participants in a project is the best way of obtaining this.

Response Engineering is a member of the Response Group, which consists of Response Engineering, Response Operating, Response Civil, Response Automation and O2 Environmental. The resources available to the company - both internally and within the other companies in the Response Group - ensure the ability to deliver full turnkey projects from small package plants through to large-scale municipal projects.

For more information - Click Here


To download the Booking/Registration Form - Click Here

For further details - including On-line Booking - Click Here

Conference Brochure - Click Here


Contact information

Tel: 01-6026088 / 01-6026000
Fax: 01-4786198
Email: [email protected]
Address: The Sunday Business Post, 80 Harcourt Street, Dublin 2



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