A conference in Kilkenny has heard that a single utility such as Irish Water is the only way of dealing with the country’s water services.

Engineers Ireland, the professional body for engineering in Ireland, has been told that the old way of providing water services through 31 local authorities has not worked.

The conference also heard that if investment continues, within five years leakage from pipes will be reduced by a third, saving 180 million litres of water every day.

Engineers Ireland Director General of Caroline Spillane has said that Irish Water as a single utility is the way to continue.

The conference is being addressed by Jerry Grant, acting Managing Director of Irish Water.

He is expected to outline the plans ahead for fixing leaks and developing services.