Work in Progress - Funding NI Water’s infrastructure

Work in progress

We are currently undertaking work in order to produce this publication. Details of when we aim to publish the finalised report are indicated below.

NI Water is responsible for the delivery of water services in Northern Ireland.  This involves the abstraction, treatment and distribution of around 575 million litres of wastes and the collection and treatment of 340 million litres of wastewater each day, utilising a large network of around £3 billion of capital assets.  Funding of these services costs over £400 million each year.  NI Water’s main source of income is the subsidy it receives from the Department for Infrastructure each year.  Typically, NI Water uses around £180 million of this funding on capital expenditure each year, maintaining and enhancing its network of capital assets.

However, it is widely recognised that the level of investment in water infrastructure in Northern Ireland over the last 15 years has not kept pace with demand, meaning that many of our sewerage networks and treatment plants are currently operating at or beyond their design capacity. 

The focus of our audit will be to assess how effectively the governance and funding arrangements support the development and maintenance of the water and sewerage infrastructure.  In particular:

  • How the investment in water infrastructure is managed?
  • What are the consequences of previous funding constraints?
  • Do the current funding and governance arrangements act as a barrier to adequate investment?

We aim to publish this report early 2024.