By Ailish Lalor
In our first post about water quality in Galway, Ireland, we introduced you to our respondents’ backgrounds and their usage and experience of water. This post discusses their experience of water quality and opinions of Irish Water, the water provider for Ireland.
NB: These results may be slightly biased as most of our respondents were probably connected to our local partners in Galway — Right2Water and Galway University.
What was their experience of water quality?
Nearly half of our 77 respondents claimed their water had a funny taste or smell, while 36% believed there was pollution in the water, 22.7% believed there was baceria or parasites in the water, and 28% had another unidentified cause for concern with regard to the water. Only 25% said they had no concerns.
How was their relationship with Irish Water?
56% were paying a water charge to Irish Water, while 16% said they had a legal reason for not paying these charges (e.g., a well) and the remaining 28% did not pay because they had a moral objection to paying charges.
In terms of willingness to pay, 32% said they were content to pay the water charges while 13% said they were too high, 46% had a non-price objection to them and 9% said “not applicable” — perhaps because they are drinking well water.
93% rated Irish Water’s attempts to solve water quality issues below 5/10. When it comes to water charges, 51% said that water users should pay, while 23%, 14% and 8% said the national government, city council or businesses should pay. 22% of respondents were unhappy with the customer service they received from Irish Water, 5% were happy and 73% had never been in contact with the organisation.