Stewart Dickson MLA said: “There is no question that we must heavily invest in our water system following the devastation caused by the flooding this week.
“I have already said that in order for us to do so, we must look at how our water system is funded and we must get real and make difficult choices in order to avoid a repeat of the damage caused. But while other parties may agree that we need to invest in our water system, none of them seem to be able to say where we would get the money.
“The University of Ulster has said that we need to increase our maintenance budget for water from £100 million to £160 million. But that budget is just about responding to problems in the existing system. What we need to do is to carry out a radical improvement scheme for our water system to make it fit for purpose. We need to urgently update our water system, as we are currently lagging a considerable distance behind most countries in Western Europe.
“If we do not do this then people from other countries looking to invest here or go on holiday here will turn on their television next time there flooding and decide to go elsewhere.”