In 2013, almost half of Ireland’s water supply was subject to leakage because of poor pipes and a lack of long term investment. It was costing €1.2bn every year to run the Irish public water system and unlike anywhere else in Europe, water consumption in Ireland was neither measured nor directly charged for.
As part of the Irish Government's vision to reform water provision and operations in the country, Irish Water was established, which comprised of a single national water utility combining the water services formerly provided by 34 local authorities. Domestic water charges were introduced by the Irish Government. Based onsite in Irish Water’s offices in Dublin, Mace provided the client with project and programme management as well as subject matter expertise on meter billing and revenue collection, metering technology and customer side leakage.
The programme is due to be completed by the end of 2016 and at its peak was installing 35,000 meters per month. Meters are fitted with radio units to provide Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) to facilitate billing. Challenges to the project have included anti-water meter protests, intense media scrutiny and political controversy over water charges.