MORE than half of the water produced in Cork city each day is lost due to leaking pipes.
The loss of 30,000 cubic metres of clean water every day has been described as 'disgraceful'.
A report produced by the environmental directorate at Cork City Council indicated that 56.3% of the water produced in March 2017 was 'unaccounted for.'
The figure is calculated based on a standardised method used by Irish Water nationally, which includes detailed CSO information, local surveys and an average water use per person of 125 litres per day.
The figure in Cork city is higher now than in the corresponding months in either of the last two years.
Sinn Féin city councillor Thomas Gould slammed the money spent on Irish Water's metering programme, claiming that these funds could have been better directed in resolving issues with pipes and supply throughout the city.
"Cork City produced 59,894 cubic metres of water per day in March, almost 60,000 cubic metres," he said.
"The huge issue we face is that more than half of this figure is unaccounted for - 56%. That is more than 30,000 cubic metres being lost every single day."
Mr Gould questioned Irish Water's spend on metering in recent years, describing it as a 'red herring.' "The pipes are the problem," he said.
A spokesperson for Irish Water confirmed that the utility provider is investing €15.8 million to fix and replace 27km of old water mains in Cork city.
Phase one of this project was completed in February. It involved replacing 9.3km of old and poor quality mains on the northside of the city, saving an estimated 8.3 million litres of water per week.
Irish Water is now progressing the next phase of plans for the Cork city mains rehabiliation programme, replacing a further 18km of ageing water mains. It expects to save 10.5 million litres of water per week as a result.
A spokesperson confirmed that some 40% of pipes tested in Cork city have high levels of corrosion, causing pipes to leak and burst.
"This affects the supply and pressure of water for customers," he said.
"In addition to this, many of the old water mains in Cork City have up to 80% of their internal walls blocked by build-up. This significantly reduces the capacity of water to flow through the pipes, leading to reduced water pressure and water discolouration."