The Commission for Regulation of Utilities has approved a proposal from Irish Water which would see families facing excessive usage charges of up to €500 per year for wasting water.
Is it a good idea, or just a way of getting water charges in by the back door?
Laura Brien, Director of Water Compliance at CRU, says the measures will be put in place to "promote water conservation in domestic households, encourage customers to fix leaks, and to target reduction in consumption to the highest users."
Laura says that 10% of Irish Water customers account for almost 40% of all domestic water consumption in Ireland, and that the charges are "not a revenue-raising measure", but are designed to change behaviour.
Paul Murphy, Solidarity TD for Dublin South-West, disagrees that charges are the way to reduce consumption.
"We use quite a lot less water per person than people in Britain do, where they have water charges."
"The evidence is not there that water charges work to lower consumption, and instead the effect of water charges will be to punish those who are on lower incomes."
Listen to the interview in full by pressing the play button on this page.