Appeal to Galway public to reduce water usage

23 July 2021

High demand for water is continuing to put severe pressure on water supplies

High demand for water in Galway is continuing to put severe pressure on water supplies as warm weather continues, visitors to towns and villages increase, COVID 19 restrictions are relaxing and the hospitality sector is beginning to re-open. High water demand in Spiddal, Furbo, Inverin and Rossaveel across the Spiddal Water Supply Zone is resulting in reduced reservoir levels.

Irish Water is appealing to customers to conserve water in Galway as water demand surges across the county in areas including Laurencetown and Eyrecourt in Ballinasloe and in Gurteen, Kiltullagh and Carrabane which is supplied by the Mid Galway Water Supply Scheme. Specific night-time restrictions are in place in Carna, Kilkieran and Roundstone and on Inis Oirr.

Night-time restrictions in all other areas are now a real possibility if demand doesn’t ease, as water treatment plants continue to operate at maximum capacity.

Irish Water are again appealing to residents, farmers, agricultural contractors, businesses and visitors to conserve water wherever possible to ensure a consistent supply for everyone.

Speaking about the continuing need to conserve water, Irish Water’s Asset Operations Lead for Galway, Tim O’Connor said: “We are asking the public to conserve water where possible and to only use what they need whilst continuing to adhere to public health advice regarding COVID-19. We have seen demand creeping up in recent weeks, spiking over the past few days with all water supplies experiencing significant increases in demand at this time. We want to ensure we can meet the demands on our water supplies as COVID-19 restrictions are relaxing and the hospitality sectors reopens for business. It is really important that everyone follows the HSE guidance on handwashing, however there are some ways to conserve water that will not impact on hygiene.”

Tim continued: “In Irish Water, we are continually working with our local authority partners to look at what we call the supply/demand balance. This means that we need to ensure that we can supply more treated drinking water than is required for use. We can manage this by conserving water; losing less by repairing leaks; and supplying smarter by ensuring that all of our plants are working optimally.

“We can all work together to protect our supply and safeguard our water for essential usage.”

There are some simple measures that the public can take including stopping the use of power washers at home; using a watering can rather than a hose in the garden; taking showers over baths; and fixing any dripping taps where it is possible to do so. There is advice and guidance for homes, businesses and farms, including information on how much water you can save with simple measures on our Conservation section.

In order to improve the situation owners of vacant and unused properties are being urged to turn off water to the property and to check for leaks around the building, especially around toilet cisterns.

Irish Water continues to work at this time with our local authority partners, contractors and others to safeguard the health and well-being of staff and the public and to ensure the continuity of drinking water and wastewater services.

Previous Updates

With a high-temperature weather advisory issued across the country, Irish Water is continuing to urge the public to conserve water to ensure a consistent supply for all during this busy time. Demand for drinking water has increased very significantly in many supplies across Galway. At the same time, due to the dry weather and high temperatures, water source levels are dropping. Irish Water, together with Galway City and County Council, is working hard to maintain supplies.   

Tim O’Connor, Irish Water’s Operations Lead for Galway said: “The current extra demand, combined with reduced capacity, is not sustainable across Galway City and County. We are appealing to everyone to be mindful of this and reduce water consumption as much as possible.

All supplies across the city and county are seeing increased demand. The households, farms and businesses served by public water supplies across Galway City and County are asked to reduce water usage as much as possible. Particular areas under the most pressure at present include Monivea, Abbeyknockmoy, Kiltullagh, Carrabane and Gurteen as well as Carna, Kilkieran and Roundstone.

“Reservoir levels at Farmhill and Glenaveel Reservoirs are decreasing, and many areas are experiencing reduced pressure and water outages, and we are particularly appealing to consumers in Mid Galway to minimise water usage.”

“Everyone can contribute and the combination of effort will greatly help our ability to provide a continuous water supply to all. There is guidance and tips for conserving water available on www.water.ie/conservation.”

Small changes can have a significant impact, for example:

  • Take a shorter shower and save up to 10 litres of water per minute       
  • Fix dripping taps or leaking toilets in your home
  • When brushing your teeth or shaving, turn off the tap and save up to 6 litres of water per minute
  • Save and reuse water collected from baths, showers, and hand basins in the garden
  • Avoid using paddling pools and power washers
  • In the garden use a rose head watering can instead of a hose and aim for the roots
  • If you need to wash your car, use a bucket and sponge instead of a hose
  • Report any leaks to Irish Water at 1800 278 278.

Irish Water is continuing to see significant levels of domestic and commercial demand for water as temperatures remain high and the public are asked to take some simple measures to conserve water in their homes, businesses and on farms. Irish Water has been carefully monitoring all of its raw water sources, that is the water from lakes, rivers, springs and ground sources that feed our water treatment plants.  As rivers, lakes and groundwater levels reduce through the summer and autumn period, there is less water available for supply, while at the same time the warmer weather gives rise to increased water demands for domestic, agricultural and leisure uses.

With the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic, the public are reminded to adhere to public health and HSE advice, and handwashing and hygiene remain critically important.

Irish Water continues to work at this time with our Local Authority partners, contractors and others to safeguard the health and well-being of staff and the public and to ensure the continuity of drinking water and wastewater services. With the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic, the public are reminded to adhere to public health and HSE advice, and handwashing and hygiene remain critically important. Further water conservation information is available on our Conservation section.

Conservation tips for the garden