NI Water attended Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council recently, to update representatives on strategic plans going forward and the funding needed for the Borough Council area.
By 2030, it is anticipated that Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council will need nearly 20,000 new homes, will want to attract over 12 thousand new jobs and have sustainable economic growth. Armagh City, Banbridge, Central Craigavon, Portadown and Lurgan have been identified as a focus for population and economic growth; this is to promote sustainable development and to support the efficient use of public services, facilities and infrastructure.
But NI Water can only spend within its Annual Public Expenditure budget and plans for water and wastewater can only happen if they are funded.
Steve Blockwell, Head of Investment at NI Water says,
“Protecting safe, clean, drinking water supplied to houses and business is always the top priority for NI Water. While we have been able to maintain safe clean drinking water, the huge constraints on our capital budget has meant that Wastewater issues have largely been left unaddressed as highlighted in our PC15 Business Plan; our PC21 business planning process has identified ninety-nine areas where new housing and businesses may be unable to get connected to our sewerage system throughout the province.
For updates on capacity in the Council area, click on the link for information https://www.niwater.com/wastewater-capacity/
Steve Blockwell, Head of Investment at NI Water continues, “
The funding made available in PC15 (2015 to 2021) by NI Government to date for water and wastewater infrastructure is not keeping pace with what Northern Ireland needs. NI Water has calculated in preparing for our next Price Control, PC 2021-27 that Northern Ireland needs £2.5 billion of capital investment, with £1bn needed for Belfast alone.
“Significant investment is needed for wastewater and water infrastructure. NI Water knows Northern Ireland’s growth ambitions, we know what needs done and we have the plan and the skills to deliver it. However, if funding continues at current levels there will be significant constraints on economic growth, damage to the environment and risk to people’s health
Dr Blockwell adds,
“We would urge you to speak to the Secretary of State, the Head of the Civil Service, party infrastructure committees, spokespersons, MLAs and Party Leaders to help get the message out; funding of water and wastewater infrastructure is vital for economic growth and wellbeing.’’