The Water Services Act 2014 established an independent consumer consultative forum, known as the Public Water Forum. The primary purpose of the Forum was to represent the interests the public and water consumers in its interaction with Irish Water at a time when the public water sector had commenced a programme of significant change. The Public Water Forum carried out a vital role in terms of this development, feeding directly into the activities and work of both Irish Water and the Commission on Energy Regulation (CER), the economic regulator of Ireland’s public water system.
The Forum was an independent body, playing a crucial role in ensuring that the public and water consumers were represented in the development of public water policy. The Forum was a strong and engaged with stakeholders to influence the direction and shape of policies as they evolved.
The Forum was comprised of up to 32 members plus a Chair and Secretary. Of the 32 members, 12 represented organisations from a specific sector of interest and 20 members were domestic water consumers. Dr Tom Collins was the Chair of the Public Forum. The members participated in the Forum on a voluntary basis.
In accordance with the provisions of the Water Services Act 2017, The Public Water Forum was replaced by An Fóram Uisce and its roles and responsibilities incorporated into the work of An Fóram. An Fóram has established a Water Services Standing Committee to focus on public and rural water issues.
The Public Water Forum submissions are minutes are set out below.