Farmers and businesses continue to carry burden of water charges

Tuesday, 31 March, 2015

The Ulster Farmers’ Union has said that the announcement by NI Water that it will increase its non-domestic water and sewage charges by an average of 2.4% in 2015/16 is very disappointing and that it is unfair for farmers and other metered businesses to continue to be forced to carry the burden of water charges for the whole of Northern Ireland.

UFU Deputy President Barclay Bell said: “Water is a precious and valued commodity and it should be used responsibly by everyone. NI Water has said that the tariff increases are necessary due to ‘unavoidable external factors impacting on operating costs’ and ‘the cost of necessary improvements to the water and sewage infrastructure’ but we feel it is discriminatory for metered business customers, and in particular farmers, to be expected to cover these costs for the whole of the NI population and this was an opportunity for NI Water to address this.

“The Union has long been of the opinion that everyone should pay for the water they use and that universal metering should be introduced by NI Water. There are a number of advantages to universal metering, such as generating much needed funds for NI Water; more responsible water use by consumers; it would allow for leaks to be identified more readily; and NI Water would be able to ensure that all their customers were treated equally.”