Farmers face significantly higher water bills next year when Irish Water introduces its new metered water charging system. The charges will come into force on 1 May 2021. Up until now each county council set water charges, but the new system will see farmers across the country pay the same amount for water use.
It is estimated that a farmer milking 80 cows, producing 5,000 litres of milk per cow/year, will use 2,560m³ of water each year. At the new water charge of €1.30/ m³, that will see the average dairy farmer pay €3,328/year for water.
Farmers in Cork face the biggest price hike, with an increase of €921 to their water usage bill on average, followed by farmers in Kilkenny and Laois with an increase of €870.
However, Irish Water has said that any farmer or business facing a hike of more than €750 will have a cap of 10% placed on their bill for the next three years.