Monday, October 6, 2014

Angry Irish

The Emerald Isle, with its damp climate, extensive greenery and abundant water supply has truly never experienced a true water shortage, and has many local thriving fish and wildlife habitats.  But currently, people of the town of Boyle, in County Roscommon in the western part of Ireland are having to boil their tap water due to the fact that it is practically toxic to drink.  The water supply has been contaminated by a new bacteria that the town’s out-of-date water treatment plants cannot purify.  The consequence to drinking the water, “You’re going to be violently sick for 24 hours-it’s as simple as that.  It happened to me twice.  But not a third time” Sean O’Dowd was quoted saying as he and many others were photographed stalking up on bottled water supplies.  The contamination is caused by a severe downfall in the quality of local water infrastructures, due mostly to the lack of investment on part of the local government following the 2010 economic collapse of Ireland.  Irish Water, the company chosen to take over the once locally operated water system plans on spending over 2 billion Euros or 2.5 billion US dollars to bring the waterworks up to safe standards.  This project is going to be supported by issuing a never before seen water fee for all water usage.  Up until now water infrastructure and management was funded from central and local government taxes, now households will be responsible for paying for the water that they use in their homes and businesses, a procedure we have long become accustomed to in the U.S.  “We have a big problem in terms of our infrastructure-it’s not at a state that’s fit to meet the needs of a modern economy,” says Irish Water’s Elizabeth Arnett.