While water covers 71% of the planet, in reality only 1% is available to us as drinking water. We share this precious resource with every animal and plant on Earth as well as use it every day in our homes and businesses. Although there is enough annual rainfall in Ireland, we are limited in how much water we can take from the environment. This, coupled with a growing population, climate change, leakage and an ageing infrastructure, means pressure on this precious resource is growing.
The treatment process to make raw water suitable to drink is a lengthy and complex one with seven stages that take up to three days. Each day 1.7 billion litres of water travels through a network that includes 63,000km of pipes to supply the nation with treated drinking water.
Toilet flushing, showering and bathing, teeth brushing, dishwashing, and garden watering. These are the everyday things we use water for, yet rarely think about. But our water resources are struggling to meet demand. That’s why we are asking everyone to try and use only what they need.
This chart shows an approximate breakdown of water usage in a typical Irish house. It does not account for occasional water losses due to leaks or plumbing issues. Actual usage figures numbers can vary according to the water fittings being used and/or the behaviour of the occupants.
Data sources include: Marshallsay, Dean, ‘Micro-components of water use in the home’, Artesia Consulting, 3/11/2016. Fennell, Chris; Gill, Laurence; O’Connell, David, ‘An assessment of the efficiency of water saving devices in Irish households’, Trinity College Dublin, 2018.
Much of our drinking water is lost through leaks before it ever reaches your tap. We're working to conserve our water by reducing the high levels of leakage across the country.