Published Date: 21 Sep 2015

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Press Release : Launch of the Recruitment Process for the Public Water Forum

Consultation is now closed

The Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) has today, 21st
September 2015, announced the launch of a recruitment process for up to 32
members of the new Public Water Forum.

The Water Services Act 2014 established an
independent consumer consultative forum, to be known as the Public Water Forum.
Regulations under Section 7 of the Water Services Act 2014 set out the
composition and the conditions of membership of the Public Water Forum.

The primary purpose of the Forum is to represent the interests of water
consumers and a variety of sectoral organisations. The public water sector is
undergoing significant changes at present and will continue to do so over the
coming years. The Public Water Forum will be a vital component in terms of this
development, feeding directly into the activities and work of both Irish Water
and the CER, the economic regulator of Ireland’s public water system.

The Forum will be made up of up to 32 members in total plus a Chair and
Secretary. Twelve members will be drawn from organisations, each representing a
specific area of interest and up to 20 members will be domestic water consumers.
Dr Tom Collins has been appointed as the Chair of the Public Forum and the CER
will act as Secretary to the Forum.

The CER is responsible for recruiting the members of the Forum and we
are now inviting both domestic consumers and organisations to apply to be
members of the Forum.

Dr Tom Collins, chair of the Public Water Forum stated, “the Forum will offer a place where different
views can be aired and listened to with respect.

Water is a vulnerable, scarce but essential
resource. Decisions regarding the management of water are pivotal not only to
society today but to the wider ecosystem and to posterity.

The Public Water Forum aims to further the
democratic input into our decision making regarding this fundamental and
strategic asset. It will provide a mechanism for members of the public and
concerned organisations to re-visit the issue of water as the core building
block of a society and landscape and explore the responsibilities and
possibilities which emerge when the issue of water is approached in this way.

Clearly the Forum is emerging into a highly
contested environment where many deep differences characterise the current
debate on water. In its early days at any rate, I would hope that the Forum
might initially discuss and agree on core principles which would guide an
approach to managing the resource. Once those principles are accepted we would
then have a framework within which to 
develop and appraise a range of management
options in the interests of all the citizens of this Republic.”

For more information on the recruitment process, please visit the CER
website –
www.cer.ie

For further information, please contact:

John Melvin, Press Officer, CER

Phone: (01) 4000 815 or (086) 040 5347

E-mail: jmelvin@cer.ie

Notes to Editors:

·        
The CER is
Ireland’s independent energy regulator with a wide range of economic, customer
and safety functions. The CER is also the economic regulator of Ireland’s
public water system. The CER protects energy customers by working for a safe,
secure and sustainable supply of electricity and natural gas, as well as a
competitive market which delivers reasonable prices and a good quality service
to customers. For further details please see
www.cer.ie 

·        
Biographical
Note:

Dr Tom Collins is currently Chair
of the Governing Body of DIT and also of IT Blanchardstown.

As well as occupying many senior
positions in Irish higher education, he has been actively involved throughout
his career in a number of environmental/water related roles.

For ten years between 1997 and
2007 he was Chair of the National Rural Water Monitoring Committee. This
Committee oversaw the refurbishment of the entire infrastructure of the Group Water
schemes. It involved an investment of close to €2bn. As a result of its work
the European Court ultimately dropped its conviction – and fine – against
Ireland regarding the quality of its Group schemes.

The Committee also embarked on a
number of innovative projects in water conservation and source protection. These
included projects in the conservation of rainwater, in waste water treatment
and in the establishment of the Centre for Freshwater Studies in Dundalk
Institute of Technology.

Dr Collins was also a member of
the three person working group on the Wild Irish Salmon established by the
Irish government in 2006. This resulted in the banning of drift net fishing for
salmon in Irish coastal waters and a number of other initiatives aimed at
conserving salmon in Irish rivers.
  

Contact Name:
Fergus O'Toole
Contact Email:
pwf@cer.ie

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