€168m is owed to Irish Water in unpaid charges by businesses.

The Sunday Business Post says the outstanding bill comes at a time when a nationwide hosepipe ban has been imposed during the current drought and water shortages.

Sinn Fein obtained the figures from the water company and warn the shortfall could impact the company's plans to upgrade the country's leaking infrastructure.

It’s understood the money owed is almost equivalent to a full years’ commercial charges.

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