Alliance Party Coleraine representative, Barnie Fitzpatrick, has called upon government to encourage people to conserve water and promote water conservation policies. Mr Fitzpatrick believes that the government’s plans to impose water charging will jeopardise efforts to conserve water in the long term.
Mr Fitzpartick stated: “Alliance wants to see the government promote water conservation, but unfortunately they are forcing a flat rate water charge upon Northern Ireland. The tap tax is unfair and creates a disincentive to save water, as charges will bear no relation to the amount of water people actually use.
“The Alliance Party has campaigned tirelessly on environmental issues. The North West Alliance Environmental Group has set out proposals to help conserve water and therefore protect the environment.
“Alliance supports storage of rainwater for flushing toilets and watering gardens. We believe that the energy saved from not having to pump and treat the quantity of mains water normally used for this purpose, would be significant.
“We are also keen to promote reduction in the discharge of wastewater by making dual flush toilet installation obligatory for all new houses.
“Alliance also wants to see the installation of permeable car park, road and pavement surfaces where appropriate to encourage recharge of underground water, and save on the cost of storm water discharge pipes.
“We would request increased storage of rainwater runoff from roads, through the construction of underground storage tanks, ponds, wetlands and balancing lakes to reduce the diameter and hence the cost of storm pipes.
“Alliance wants to see separate sewage and storm water pipes, at all stages, from house to final discharge, to reduce the cost of sewage treatment plants and prevent costly sewage cleanups after severe rainstorms. We also propose making better use of water used in horticulture, by reducing evaporation by using drip feed irrigation.
Mr Fitzpatrick concluded “I call on government to encourage people to conserve water, instead of creating a disincentive to save water through the tap tax. Its a race against time to protect the environment, so government must act now, before its too late.”