Sewage recycling under consideration as a long-term supply option for Ireland

Sewage recycling is one of ten options Irish Water is considering as a potential supply measure as it draws up its first ever national water resources plan.

This strategy, currently under formulation, will be agreed with the government next year as the blueprint for meeting water supply challenges over the next 25 years against a backdrop of a growing population, increasingly urbanised, and the need to cope with climate change.

Desalination is also in the mix alongside more water transfer schemes, the possibility of a greater focus of surface and/or groundwater catchment management as well as conjunctive use, where surface water abstraction is combined with groundwater abstraction to allow periods for aquifer recovery.

A scoping report published by the utility has highlighted an increasing number of companies looking at Ireland as a potential location for data centres, which are potentially large water-users.

“As the population grows and the economy strengthens it is likely that increased water supply will be needed in order to facilitate this growth. As expected the greatest demand will be in the urban areas” the document highlighted.

Mary McMahon, the company’s water resource strategy specialist, said, “A national plan will ensure the best use of water resources to ensure a constant supply of safe clean drinking water and how best to meet any challenges while continuing to support social and economic growth.”