23.11.21

NI Water outline details of the Utility Regulator’s Final Determination to Fermanagh & Omagh District Council

NI Water updated Fermanagh & Omagh District Council representatives in a virtual meeting, on 15th November, on their PC21 Final Determination, infrastructure plans going forward and the level of investment planned for the Council area.

In its future growth plans, Fermanagh & Omagh District Council has anticipated that by 2030, it will need over 4,300 new housing units. Large towns such as Enniskillen and Omagh will be the main Hubs for growth, with predictions that 4,875 new jobs will be created.

NI Water continues to work with the Council to accommodate these plans where possible and in the short term will help where we can, to find solutions and to look at all available options. We will work with Council planners and developers to progress the District’s ambitions for the people in their area. NI Water’s Head of Investment Management, Stephen Blockwell, says:

“NI Water’s goal is to ensure we have a modern, efficient service today and in the future. The Utility Regulator has scrutinised our PC21 Business Plan and published its Final Determination in May 2021. NI Water accepted the Final Determination and its challenging recommendations in early July’.

With Capital expenditure the overall investment programme for the PC21 period (2021/22 – 2026/27) is valued at £2.1bn, with an efficiency challenge of £117m.

Dr Blockwell continues, “Our PC21 Business Plan will begin to address the sewer and wastewater capacity issues resulting from historical underinvestment in Northern Ireland. However, there are currently significant wastewater capacity issues in major parts of our cities and over 100 towns. Realistically the scale of these capacity issues will take at least 12 to 18 years and up to 2 to 3 Price Control periods to address.”

“Our infrastructure plans over the 2021 – 2027 period (known as PC21) for the Fermanagh & Omagh District Council area will see an overall capital investment of circa £21m, which includes ca £10m to upgrade Wastewater Treatment works and sewer networks.  This is over and above essential base maintenance investment associated with our assets during PC21. This investment will begin to address the sewer and wastewater capacity issues. However, we recognise that significant further investment will be required within the Council area during future Price Control periods to allow new housing and business development to proceed in some areas.”

Dr Blockwell concluded:  

“NI Water is pleased that the Utility Regulator has recognised the need for a significant increase in investment in the funding of Water & Wastewater services to address the major issues that exist across Northern Ireland due to historical underinvestment. We welcome the fact that full funding has been provided for the first year of our Business Plan. However, in order to deliver on this plan it is essential that the NI Executive provides the full funding of the Final Determination throughout the 6 year PC21 period”.

A number of slides and maps showing current sewer and wastewater issues and proposed investment in Fermanagh & Omagh District Council were presented at the meeting.

Further information can be found on our website www.niwater.com/wastewater-capacity/

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

  • The Utility Regulator has published Final determination in May 2021 of what it believes Northern Ireland Water should deliver in both levels of service and capital programmes during the next six years from 2021 to 2027. It also recognised the significant efficiency gains NI Water has delivered to date.
  • With Capital expenditure, the overall investment programme is valued at £2.1bn with an efficiency target of £117m, which is a significant challenge.

  • NI Water accepted this Final Determination in July 2021.

  • The Regulator’s determination stipulates the level of costs and finance required to be invested by Northern Ireland Water’s shareholder, the Department for Infrastructure, on behalf of the Assembly Executive over the next six years, beginning in April 2021.  Full delivery of our PC21 Business Plan is dependent on continued funding of NI Water by the NI Executive throughout the 6 years of the PC21 period.

  • PC21 Business Plan Fast Read is available to view: click here

  • Examples of risks to people’s health includes risks associated with overflows from manholes into public highways or gardens, driveways; high frequency of discharges from sewers reaching the sea. This could affect blue flag status and potentially lead to increased infections such as ear infections for surfers and swimmers.

For further information, please contact NI Water’s Press Office email press.office@niwater.com

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