Irish Water in EPA Abstractions Register (update)

FOI on Irish Water abstractions unsuccessful, as existing regulations allow an exemption for drinking water abstractions.

The existing “public” Water Abstraction Register is here to download

In the meantime, there is a workaround to manually build a dataset to identify some if not all of the abstractions via unstructured search in data.gov.ie as follows:

https://data.gov.ie/dataset?q=significant+pressures+abstractions

There are approx 1,200 non-drinking water abstraction points in the EPA Abstraction Register.

It is unknown how many Irish Water abstraction points exist, but it is about the same (1,200).

It is unclear if the non-publication exemption applies to bottled water plants. There are approximately 25 plants abstracting and bottling drinking water into plastic containers in Ireland. It should be possible to identify each plant, but not obtain details on the volume of water each abstracts, as it is currently an unlicensed activity.

FOI Refusal of Abstraction Data (State Security of Drinking Water Sources)

Public and Group water scheme data relating to drinking water abstractions are not
included in the public abstraction spreadsheet.

“As per Section 33 (1)(a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2014, we may refuse to grant a request in relation to a record if it could reasonably be expected to adversely affect the security of the State. Public and Group water scheme data have been omitted from the public release of the register in response to the EU direction (on the security of national assets, which include drinking water supply) on not publishing information and locations of drinking water sources. As disclosure of these locations would not be in the public interest due to possible security implications for the State, these are not included in the public version of the register”

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