Dáil Éireann - Volume 630 - 06 February, 2007

Written Answers. - Water Meters.

Mr. Gilmore asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the informal discussions she has had with the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, the IFA and other farming organisations on the installation of [1696] water meters on farms; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [3738/07]

  Mary Coughlan: I am aware of the concerns expressed by the farming organisations in regard to this issue and am conscious of the need to ensure that usage of metered water on farms for agricultural purposes is kept to a minimum. Thus, for example, the technical specifications for farm buildings operated by my Department for the purposes of the Farm Waste Management Scheme require the installation of adequate arrangements for the separation of clean and dirty water as part of the conditions of any new investment. In addition, I extended the terms of that Scheme in March 2006 to include the provision of grant-aid for the installation of guttering on existing buildings as a further new eligible item.

As far as the new 2007-2013 Rural Development Programme is concerned, I have provided that grant-aid will be available under the new Farm Investment Scheme for, the installation of water retention equipment on farms. This Scheme will be introduced as soon as EU approval is received for the Programme.

Question No. 132 answered with Question No. 130.