Grants are available if two or more householders get together to provide their homes and farms with a water system where none exists. A committee that represents the group scheme members must propose the scheme and the local authority must approve it. The local authority examines the plans for each scheme to ensure that they are built and will perform to the highest standards. Advisors from the Department of the Environment and Local Government are available at all stages of the formation of the scheme, but group members must organise plans and planning permission themselves.
The amount of grant payable depends on where the scheme is located. Generally, a grant will cover 85% of the cost, with a limit put on each house in the scheme.
The group members must cover the balance of the cost but these can be kept down if they are willing to do some of the labour. It is up to the members to arrange finance and to decide how much each member will pay. The most common method is a flat rate per house but financial circumstances can be taken into account, as can voluntary labour.
Subsidy towards the operational costs of group water schemes
Local authorities are responsible for giving subsidies to group water schemes that provide a water supply for domestic purposes. The water must be of a high quality and the local authority must be satisfied with the way the group conducts its affairs.
This scheme came into operation in 1997 and its objective is to ensure the improvement of rural water supplies. After the abolition of domestic water charges in 1997, it was intended that this scheme would extend those benefits to households supplied by group water schemes.
The amount of subsidy is 100% of the qualifying expenditure, meaning that all the running costs of the scheme are covered by the subsidy as long as they do not exceed the subsidy limit. This must be approved by the local authority. The current limits are:
- €70 for each house supplied from a local authority source (ie public mains)
- €140 for each house supplied from a private source (ie a private well on your land)
- Where a group scheme has provided its own water treatment plant under a Design, Build, Operate (DBO) contract, a new subsidy will be paid to cover the full production cost of treated water for domestic use
Before the subsidy is paid out, the group must provide its local authority with expenditure accounts, giving details of the costs incurred by the group.
For further information on these grants please contact:
Phone: (0404) 20296