Water charges will be benchmarked against the North

A senior official at Irish Water said there is no "quick fix" to the problem of leakages.

The State company said it plans to spend almost €1.8bn over the next two years on infrastructure projects. The majority of this will go towards fixing leaking pipes.

The Commission for Energy Regulation has yet to determine how much residents will have to pay for water, but is likely to benchmark the charges with the North.

"It'll have to be determined having regard to the cost we face, the systems, we have, the challenges we have to address," said Irish Water's Gerry Grant.

"The actual cost of delivering water will vary from scheme to scheme. We will have a … single national tariff across the country [which] will reflect the overall cost.

"The CER will be looking to see where they can drive efficiencies from the beginning, and we'll put it under a lot of pressure by benchmarking against Northern Ireland and elsewhere to make sure we're doing the business efficiently and effectively."

Irish Water has also promised to lift all boil water notices by next year.

Householders in some parts of the country have had to endure boil water notices for the past eight years.

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