It is the view of the water engineering experts within Local Authorities and Irish Water that the situation will remain critical up to and possibly beyond mid-August

Review of situation

The Irish Water Board met today to discuss the on-going drought situation and Irish Water’s on-going response to safeguarding the supply for water for the future. It is the view of the water engineering experts within Local Authorities and Irish Water that the situation will remain critical up to and possibly beyond mid-August.

The Board reviewed the latest available data on water usage and the condition of the raw water sources around the country and have confirmed the extension of the timeline of the Water Conservation Orders, or hosepipe bans for the Greater Dublin Area and nationally until the 31st of August and a continuance of the Level 2 water pressure reductions in the Greater Dublin area for another two weeks.

The most severe conditions continue to be in the east and south, where the rivers, lakes and groundwater tables are at record lows. Latest OPW flow data shows over half of rivers are at levels that were previously unheard of in July.

Met Éireann has indicated that in the short-term that rainfall will not be at a level that will assist the recovery of raw water sources, particularly in the east and south of the country.

Operational interventions

Major operational interventions are taking place including relocating or upgrading pumps; using Irish Water hydrologists to investigate and drill additional boreholes as an interim measure; tankering water to reservoirs; and working closely with our local authority colleagues and additional contractors where necessary to find and fix the worst leaks that are impacting supply.

Commenting, Chartered Engineer and Irish Water’s Corporate Affairs Manager Kate Gannon said,

“Irish Water’s first priority is to safeguard the water supply for communities, ensure a consistent and safe supply and minimise the impact of the drought. It has been very encouraging to see the conservation measures taken by homes and businesses and advice for those who would like to do a little bit more is available on” 

“The measures that Irish Water has taken in the past few weeks have been done to conserve water while minimising the impact on homes and businesses. Whether it is tankering water to reservoirs or fixing leaks, each measure has been taken with the impact on the local community in mind. That is why Irish Water has urged customers to conserve water before putting the Water Conservation Order in place. That is why we have waited to see how demand for water would reduce in the Greater Dublin Area before confirming pressure management at night.”

“Irish Water is very aware that increased water pressure reductions in the Greater Dublin Area could have a negative impact on homes and businesses and the hospitality sector in particular. We are continuing to monitor the situation very closely.

Water Conservation Order

The prohibited uses are as follows:

Use of water drawn through a hosepipe or similar apparatus for the purpose: 

  • watering a garden
  • cleaning a private motor-vehicle using a domestic hosepipe
  • cleaning a private leisure boat 
  • filling or maintaining a domestic swimming or paddling pool (except when using hand held containers filled directly from a tap)
  • filling or maintaining a domestic pond (excluding fish ponds)
  • filling or maintaining an ornamental fountain (with the exception of such use for commercial purposes)
  • filling or replenishing an artificial pond, lake or similar application.

Carlow, Cavan, Clare, Cork, Donegal, Dublin, Galway, Kerry, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Leitrim, Limerick, Longford, Louth, Mayo, Meath, Monaghan, Offaly, Roscommon, Sligo, Tipperary, Waterford, Westmeath, Wexford, Wicklow

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