Water shortages & restrictions

Find out about water restrictions and how Irish Water works to conserve, protect and manage your supply.

A short spell of dry weather does not cause water shortages or drought. We need regular rainfall throughout the year, especially during winter, to build up our water supplies.

Water shortages are also caused by leaks, old pipes, increased demand, growing population and poor infrastructure.

How we conserve water

Managing and repairing the network

During shortages we change how we pump our water around the network. This is so customers on higher ground and on the edges of our networks do not suffer reduced service.

Reconfiguring the network

On larger supplies, we can change the water flows through our pipes to make sure people continue to have a water supply.

Tanker water to drought areas

If a supply is so low that we cannot keep producing water, we bring treated water from another area that is less at risk.

National Leakage Reduction Programme

Through our national programme, we are reducing the amount of treated water lost through leakage across the country.

Increase leak detection and repair crews

We increase crews in affected areas during water restrictions for emergency support. The leaks can be in the public water infrastructure or in private homes and businesses.

Water Conservation Order

In unique circumstances, a water conservation order (or hosepipe ban) is introduced if absolutely necessary. This ensures people only use water for essential purposes.

Free leaks repairs

During water shortages, we encourage property owners to check and fix leaks on their properties. If you think you may have a leak, you may qualify for a free leak repair.

Supply and Service Updates

We are continuing to assess and monitor water supplies nationwide on a daily basis. Keep up to date on the latest water supply and service alerts in your area.

Greater Dublin Area water use

The graph below represents the amount of water used daily in the Greater Dublin Area. This includes the population of County Dublin, and parts of Counties Wicklow, Kildare and Meath.

This area is supplied by seven water treatment plants: Ballymore Eustace, Leixlip, Vartry, Ballyboden, Bog of the Ring, Srowland, Monasterevin, and Rathangan. The current safe and sustainable limit that we can treat in these water treatment plants is 610 million litres per day.

Greater Dublin Area water restrictions

There are times when it is necessary to introduce restrictions within the Greater Dublin Area. This chart outlines what customers can expect from different levels of water restriction.

Active management level Day time impact Night time impact General customers experience Multi-storey customers experience
0 None. descriptive image descriptive image None. descriptive image descriptive image descriptive image No restrictions. descriptive image descriptive image No restrictions. descriptive image descriptive image
1 None. descriptive image descriptive image Midnight — 05:00
Lower pressure, average flow to 2-storey. descriptive image descriptive image descriptive image
Sufficient to fill attic tanks quickly in day-time and slowly at night-time. descriptive image descriptive image Sufficient to supply building pumps at high-rate in day-time and low-rate at night-time. descriptive image descriptive image
2 None descriptive image descriptive image 22:00 — 05:00
Lower pressure, average flow to ground floor. descriptive image descriptive image descriptive image
No Loss of Supply.
Some customers on high ground and at remote end of networks will experience lower night-time pressure. descriptive image descriptive image
Some customers on high ground and at remote end of networks may experience low night-time pressures depending on their building pumping and storage system. descriptive image descriptive image
3 None descriptive image descriptive image 22:00 — 05:00
Lower pressure, minimal flow to ground floor. descriptive image descriptive image descriptive image
No Loss of Supply.
Most customers will experience low night-time pressures.
Supply to some customers on high ground and at remote end of networks may reduce to trickle at kitchen sink during those periods. descriptive image descriptive image
Customers may experience low night-time pressures depending on their building pumping and storage system. descriptive image descriptive image
3 None descriptive image descriptive image 21:00 — 07:00
Lower pressure, minimal flow to ground floor. descriptive image descriptive image descriptive image
No Loss of Supply.
Most customers will experience low night-time pressures.
Supply to some customers on high ground and at remote end of networks may reduce to trickle at kitchen sink during those periods. descriptive image descriptive image
Customers may experience low night-time pressures depending on their building pumping and storage system. descriptive image descriptive image
4 10:00 — 16:00
Lower pressure, average flow to ground floor. descriptive image descriptive image
21:00 — 07:00
Lower pressure, minimal flow to ground floor. descriptive image descriptive image descriptive image
Most customers will experience low pressures during day and night pressure reductions.
Supply to some customers on high ground and at remote end of networks may reduce to trickle at kitchen sink during those periods. descriptive image descriptive image
Customers may experience low night-time pressures depending on their building pumping and storage system. descriptive image descriptive image
5 10:00 — 16:00
Lower pressure, average flow to ground floor. descriptive image descriptive image
21:00 — 07:00
Restricted & shuts on rotational basis. descriptive image descriptive image descriptive image
Most customers will experience low pressures during day-time, but no loss of supplies.
Supply to some customers on high ground and at remote end of networks may reduce to trickle at kitchen sink during those periods.
Most customers will experience full loss of supply during night-time shuts in their area. descriptive image descriptive image
Customers may experience low night-time and day-time pressures depending on their building pumping and storage system. descriptive image descriptive image
Technical description Level 0 Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5
No Restrictions.
Distribution network pressures maintained to accommodate peak flows over 24-hour period.
No Day-time Restrictions. Night-time distribution network pressures reduced to minimal practical for average flow service capability to 2-storey house. No Day-time Restrictions. Night-time distribution network pressures reduced to minimal practical for average flow service capability to ground-floor only. No Day-time Restrictions. Night-time distribution network pressures reduced to minimal practical for minimum flow service capability to ground-floor only. No Day-time Restrictions. Night-time distribution network pressures reduced to minimal practical for minimum flow service capability to ground-floor only. Day-time distribution network pressures reduced to minimal practical for average flow service capability to ground-floor only. Night-time distribution network pressures reduced to minimal practical for minimum flow service capability to ground-floor only. Day-time distribution network pressures reduced to minimal practical for average flow service capability to ground-floor only. Night-time distribution network pressure restrictions and shuts on a rotational basis.