Kilkenny County Council have been asked to lead the charge in promoting rainwater harvesting technology by installing systems in new public buildings and to introduce permeable paving to offset the risks of flash flooding in urban areas.
The call was made by Green Party Councillor, Malcolm Noonan who brought forward a motion to the Kilkenny Electoral Area Committee of the Local Authority asking for grey water harvesting to be introduced into a public building on a pilot basis in order to promote the technology in the wider community.
‘The days of flushing treated drinking water down our toilets are numbered. Even from an economic viewpoint where many businesses are bearing the brunt of water charges, there are significant savings to be made in harvesting rainwater to use for non drinking purposes’, stated Cllr Noonan. ‘In bringing forward this motion, I have asked that the Council would also begin using permeable paving in public infrastructure projects. This would also have the advantage of reducing surface runoff from our urban areas and reduce the risk of flash flooding. Climate change is with us now and will be for many decades even if we reduce global emissions, it is essential that Local Authorities begin to address the challenges ahead at a local level’.
Kilkenny County Council has stated that it would consider the proposals in the design stage of the new public library. Cllr Noonan also expressed a hope that private developments that factor in grey water harvesting into their overall design, would benefit from incentives such as a discount in development contributions.
‘I am encouraged by the fact that Kilkenny County Council has recognised the importance of this policy initiative as it is complimentary to National Legislation and International best practice’ concluded Cllr Noonan.