With NI Water continuing to receive around 70% of its funding from public expenditure, it will be a significant challenge to fund delivery of the Plan in the current financial climate. However, without investment, there will continue to be development constraints in the wastewater treatment system, in many areas across Belfast, which will have implications for economic development, housing, the environment, and our recovery from COVID-19.
It is currently estimated that a further £200 million of public funding could be needed for blue/green infrastructure measures such as river restoration. However, to progress delivery of these measures, new arrangements are needed for the various key stages of scheme development, from planning through to construction, and for long-term maintenance. DfI’s LWWP Division will be responsible for overseeing delivery of the Plan through the existing programme governance and delivery structures. The established regulatory Price Control (PC) structures for water and sewerage services will also play a key part in monitoring NI Water’s delivery of its elements of the Plan.
In terms of benefits realisation, the Plan will be monitored annually as part of DfI’s reporting processes, with full reviews of the Plan to be completed every four years to tie in with future Programmes for Government and Budget periods.