Domestic Water Customers Sought For Public Water Forum

The Commission for Energy Regulation has launched a recruitment drive to appoint 20 domestic water consumers to the board of the new independent consumer consultative forum, the Public Water Forum.

The primary purpose of the Forum is to represent the interests of water consumers and a variety of sectoral organisations. The public water sector is undergoing significant changes at present and will continue to do so over the coming years. The Public Water Forum will be a vital component in terms of this development, feeding directly into the activities and work of both Irish Water and the CER, the economic regulator of Ireland's public water system.

The Forum will be made up of up to 32 members in total, plus a Chair and Secretary. Twelve members will be drawn from organisations, each representing a specific area of interest, and up to 20 members will be domestic water consumers. Dr Tom Collins has been appointed as the Chair of the Public Forum and the CER will act as Secretary to the Forum.

Dr Collins said: "The Forum will offer a place where different views can be aired and listened to with respect.

"Water is a vulnerable, scarce but essential resource. Decisions regarding the management of water are pivotal not only to society today but to the wider ecosystem and to posterity.

"The Public Water Forum aims to further the democratic input into our decision making regarding this fundamental and strategic asset.

"It will provide a mechanism for members of the public and concerned organisations to re-visit the issue of water as the core building block of a society and landscape and explore the responsibilities and possibilities which emerge when the issue of water is approached in this way.

"Clearly the Forum is emerging into a highly contested environment where many deep differences characterise the current debate on water. In its early days at any rate, I would hope that the Forum might initially discuss and agree on core principles which would guide an approach to managing the resource.

"Once those principles are accepted we would then have a framework within which to develop and appraise a range of management options in the interests of all the citizens of this Republic."


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