Skip to main content

Water Services

Operational Subsidy


An integral part of maintaining and improving the quality and reliability of rural water supplies is the annual operational subsidy, payable by local authorities, towards the operational and management costs of group water schemes supplying water for domestic use. The aim of the subsidy is to ensure the principles of equity of treatment and equivalent financial support equally between households on public water supplies (Irish Water) and those in group water schemes.

The type and amount of operational subsidy payable will be dependent on the number of factors. Detailed requirements can be viewed and are available for download by clicking Rural Water – Operational Subsidy Terms and Conditions.

A brief outline of Subsidy type is set out below.

Subsidy A - Type Determinant

This subsidy, with two funding thresholds, is payable towards the general operational and management costs of all types of group water schemes. Detailed requirements are set out in Part A of the Operational Subsidy Terms and Conditions.

The Subsidy A rate per house paid to a scheme will not exceed:

  • €231.00 for privately sourced group water scheme (i.e. supplying water to its members from its own source and water treatment plant).
  • €115.00 for publicly sourced group water scheme (i.e. supplying water provided by Irish Water to its members).

Subsidy B - Operational Determinant

This subsidy is payable (in addition to Subsidy A) towards O&M costs associated with “bona fide” DBO contracts for group water schemes. Detailed requirements are set out in Part B of the Operational Subsidy Terms and Conditions. Subsidy B is made up of two parts, a fixed element and a volumetric element.

This Subsidy only applies to a private group water scheme that is:

  • part of a ‘bona fide’ long-term Operational and Maintenance (O&M) contract [e.g. as part of a bone fide approved Design Build Operate (DBO) project], and
  • is self-managed by a member of the scheme, by a GWS Employee or a contractor engaged by the scheme.

The Subsidy B rate per house paid to a scheme will not exceed:

  • €220.00 of the Fixed Charge. (100% of the Fixed Charge is payable, with a max payable of €220 per house).
  • 85% of the Volumetric Charge, up to the maximum design throughput of the water treatment plant.

Subsidy C - Size Determinant

This subsidy is payable (in addition to Subsidy A) towards cost related to works to progress the scheme to more sustainable entities. Detailed requirements are set out in Part C of the Operational Subsidy Terms and Conditions.

This Subsidy only applies to a private group water scheme:

  • that has less than 100 houses

The incentive is limited to three years from formal initiation of the process by a scheme to progress into a more sustainable entity.

The Subsidy C rate per house paid to a scheme will not exceed:

  • Prior to January 1st 2019 - €50.00 supplement to Subsidy A per house, for 3 years, up to a max €281 (Max Subsidy A of €231 plus Subsidy C of €50).
  • From January 1st 2019 - €100.00 supplement to Subsidy A per house, for 3 years, up to a max €331 (Max Subsidy A of €231 plus Subsidy C of €100).

An advance payment may be made to a scheme in relation to the subsidies described above.

Terms and conditions of subsidy towards the operational costs of group water schemes, along with the subsidy application form and Eircode requirements, can be viewed and are available for download by clicking:

Rural Water – Operational Subsidy Terms and Conditions

Rural Water – Operational Subsidy Application Form (Final & Advanced 2019)

Rural Water - Operation Subsidy & Eircodes

Any further queries in relation to operational subsidy on a group water scheme can be made by emailing ruralwater@mayococo.ie or by contacting the rural water office on 094-9064000.

Back to top