Multi-annual Rural Water Programme framework imminent

As the summer issue of Rural Water News goes to print, many group water schemes are eagerly awaiting the launch of the framework for the upcoming Multi-annual Rural Water Programme (MARWP).

Despite the delays, significant progress has been made over recent months, with the latest draft of the framework being discussed in detail by the members in attendance at the Rural Water Working Group on 24 May. The DHLGH is currently working through the feedback provided by the various stakeholders, including the NFGWS, and hopes to be in a position to present the final framework to Minister Darragh O’Brien for approval in the coming weeks.

In advance of the framework announcement, NFGWS staff and several local authorities have been liaising with group water schemes to assist in identifying potential capital projects under the next programme. Although much of the preparatory work, such as water auditing, cost estimation etc., can be done in advance, detailed applications cannot be completed until final guidance is published.

Current programme

Meanwhile, work is progressing on numerous projects that have yet to be completed under the extended MARWP 2019–2021. By the close of 2022, some 51% of the total €62m funding allocated to GWS projects under the programme had yet to be recouped. GWSs and local authorities with approved projects still to be completed, continue to be encouraged to finalise them without delay.

Most notably, two of the largest projects to be allocated funding have made significant progress in recent months. Over half of the 41.5km of watermain installation needed for the amalgamation of County Galway’s Kilrickle GWS and Kilcooley GWS with Cappataggle District Community GWS has been laid, with the appointed contractor now ahead of schedule. In Mayo, the extension of the public watermain into the Murrisk areas as a community connections project is also well advanced.

Next steps

Upon the publication of the upcoming MARWP framework, NFGWS staff plan to host a series of GWS workshops to ensure all those interested in making a submission are kept up-to-date and informed regarding the application process.

This article originally featured in the most recent edition of the Rural Water News magazine. To read the full edition and to sign up to our magazine mailing list, click here.