Conserve water to protect essential supplies as hot spell continues

18 August 2022

Irish Water is reminding customers to continue to conserve water to protect essential supplies, with more dry weather is expected over the coming weeks.

The majority of Irish Water’s 750 water treatment plants continue to meet the demand for water supply but there are 37 locations nationwide where Irish Water is implementing measures to maintain supplies. In most cases, there is minimal impact on customers. However there are a small number of locations where overnight restrictions are in place. These include parts of West Cork, Wexford, Limerick, Donegal and Galway.

In addition to areas where there are active interventions taking place, there are 65 supplies around the country that are being closely monitored by Irish Water to ensure that normal supply is maintained for the rest of the Summer and into Autumn.

Water supplies currently impacted by drought conditions

CountyArea affected
Carlow Raheenleigh WTP (Burren Intake )
Carlow Hacketstown WTP
Clare Ballymacraven WTP – Lahinch, Ennistymon
Clare Carron Abstraction Site (Termon Spring)
Cork Ballinatona WTP - Newmarket
Cork Coppeen Pump Station
Cork Cape Clear
Cork Roberts Cove Reservoir
Cork Whitechurch WTP
Donegal Lettermacaward WTP
Donegal Loughmourne WTP – Meencrumlin
Donegal Carrigart
Galway Inis Oirr WTP
Galway Ballinasloe Town WTP
Galway Mid Galway WTW – Gurteen, Killimordaly and surrounding areas
Galway Ahascragh WTP
Galway Tiernee WTP
Kilkenny Clogh Castlecomer WTP (Loon WTP)
Kilkenny Bennettsbridge WTP
Laois Swan WTP
Limerick Cooga Spring WTP- Serves town & hinterland of Doon
Limerick Lacka Doon Borehole WTP – Serves town & hinterland of Doon
Limerick Oola WTP
Louth Clogherhead
Mayo Louisburgh
Monaghan Clones
Tipperary Dualla Borehole
Tipperary Coalbrook WTP
Tipperary Crotty’s Lake (Carrick on Suir)
Tipperary Commons WTP
Tipperary Kilcash WTP
Wexford Askamore Dunishal
Wexford Killmallock Bridge WTP
Wexford Taylorstown New WTP
Wexford Wexford Town
Wicklow Rathdrum WTP

Margaret Attridge of Irish Water said, “While there has been some rainfall in recent days, the soil moisture deficit remains very high which means that this rain will run off or be absorbed by the soil and will have minimal impact on supplies."

And with more dry weather expected over the next few weeks, it is important that everyone continues to reduce our water use where possible. For example by turning off the hose and avoiding power washing, we can all help to avoid further restrictions and ensure there is enough water for homes and businesses, agriculture, fisheries and essential amenities as we go through the rest of the Summer and into Autumn."

We will continue to monitor the levels at all our supplies over the coming weeks and take any actions that may be necessary to maintain supplies, including communicating about localised issues or restrictions as they arise. The list of locations experiencing drought conditions will also be updated regularly on our website where people can find out about their local water supply.”

To help people learn more about saving water we have developed an easy-to-use conservation calculator so they can work out how much water they are currently saving and how they can conserve even more. The Conservation Calculator is available on the Irish Water website where you can also find lots of useful water saving tips.

Members of the public can report any leaks in the public water network by contacting Irish Water 24/7 at 1800 278 278 or on the Irish Water website.

There are a number of easy steps to reduce water usage during the hot weather, including:

  • Avoid power washing and keep the garden hose in the shed
  • Check for leaks on outdoor taps or troughs as these can lead to large losses of treated water
  • Remember that paddling pools and swimming pools can use huge volumes of water so consider reusing the water for the garden or cleaning the car.
  • Report any visible leaks on the public network to Irish Water on our website or call 1800 278 278.
  • Where householders experience very low flow or pressure, lower than neighbouring properties, they may have a service pipe leak. Irish Water’s First-Fix-Free Scheme can help with the location and repair of external leaks. Details on our website or call 1800 278 278.

MORE WATER SAVING TIPS

At home:

  • Take a shorter shower
  • 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
  • If you need to wash your car, use a bucket and sponge instead of a hose
  • Report any external leaks to Irish Water at 1800 278 278. No leak fixes itself and every leak gets progressively worse. The escaping water can weaken the ground or cause slippery footpaths and roads. The leaking water reduces the supply pressure for adjacent properties. What looks like a small leak at the surface can be using the equivalent to 20-30 households.

In the garden:

  • Save and reuse water collected from baths, showers, and hand basins in the garden
  • In the garden use a rose head watering can instead of a hose and aim for the roots
  • Consider installing a water butt to collect rainwater – this can then be used for watering the garden during dry weather
  • Water in the evening when it won’t evaporate
  • Pots and containers need lots of water to prevent drying out so plant directly into the ground as much as possible
  • Another good tip is to add a layer of plant material, like bark, to your flower bed to prevent evaporation and reduce the need for watering

On the Farm

  • Fix troughs – Watch out for overflowing drinking troughs as they can waste significant amounts of water. Adjust the ball valves to lower the float or replace faulty parts.
  • Dry cleaning: Save water when cleaning the yard by using dry-cleaning techniques. Use scrapers and brushes to remove solid waste from yards and pens before hosing. You can also use a small amount of water (e.g. one bucket) to pre-soak waste before cleaning. 
  • Clean plate cooler water: If you own a dairy farm, you can divert clean plate cooler water to a tank and use it for parlour washing 
  • Consider Rainwater Harvesting - rain from the roofs of farm buildings can be used for a variety of activities such as washing down yards. Consider the level of rainwater quality required for specific water uses on the farm (e.g. plant nurseries and field irrigation) and the surfaces and contamination risks before you consider installing appropriate rain water harvesting, treatment (filtration and UV) and storage systems. 
  • Take action to protect water sources: Avoid contamination of surface waters by reducing or eliminating access to livestock by fencing off watercourses. Pollution containing animal faeces can affect the water environment, nutrients and soil. Destroyed bankside vegetation can also contribute to flooding.
  • There are lots more water saving tips for farmers on the Agriculture Conservation section of our website

Irish Water, as one of the leading water utilities in this space, has a first-of-its-kind dedicated water stewardship programme where we work with businesses to help them understand and reduce their water use. Find out more on the Water Conservation for Businesses section of our website with advice for a range of industries including hospitality, manufacturing, agriculture and small businesses.

More information on water conservation can be found on our Conservation page.

Irish Water’s customer care helpline is open 24/7 on 1800 278 278 and customers can also contact us on Twitter @IWCare with any queries. For updates please visit the Supply and Service Updates section of the Irish Water website. 

Previous Updates

Tom Cuddy, Irish Water’s Head of Asset Operations, said, “We would like to thank the public for their support in conserving water to date and remind everyone to continue to take some simple steps to reduce their usage. By reducing our water use, for example turning off the hose and avoiding power washing, we can all help to avoid further restrictions and ensure there is enough water for homes and businesses, agriculture, fisheries and essential amenities as we go through the rest of the Summer and into Autumn.

“We will continue to monitor the levels at all our supplies over the coming weeks and take any actions that may be necessary to maintain supplies, including communicating about localised issues or restrictions as they arise. The list of locations experiencing drought conditions will also be updated regularly on www.water.ie where people can find out about their local water supply.

To help people learn more about saving water we have developed an easy-to-use conservation calculator so they can work out how much water they are currently saving and how they can conserve even more. The calculator is where you can also find lots of useful water saving tips.

Members of the public can report any leaks in the public water network or by contacting Irish Water 24/7 at 1800 278 278.

There are a number of easy steps to reduce water usage during the hot weather, including:

  • Avoid power washing and keep the garden hose in the shed
  • Check for leaks on outdoor taps or troughs as these can lead to large losses of treated water
  • Remember that paddling pools and swimming pools can use huge volumes of water so consider reusing the water for the garden or cleaning the car.
  • Report any visible leaks on the public network or call 1800 278 278.
  • Where householders experience very low flow or pressure, lower than neighbouring properties, they may have a service pipe leak. Irish Water’s First-Fix-Free Scheme can help with the location and repair of external leaks or call 1800 278 278.

MORE WATER SAVING TIPS

At home:

  • Take a shorter shower
  • 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
  • If you need to wash your car, use a bucket and sponge instead of a hose
  • Report any external leaks to Irish Water at 1800 278 278. No leak fixes itself and every leak gets progressively worse. The escaping water can weaken the ground or cause slippery footpaths and roads. The leaking water reduces the supply pressure for adjacent properties. What looks like a small leak at the surface can be using the equivalent to 20-30 households.

In the garden:

  • Save and reuse water collected from baths, showers, and hand basins in the garden
  • In the garden use a rose head watering can instead of a hose and aim for the roots
  • Consider installing a water butt to collect rainwater – this can then be used for watering the garden during dry weather
  • Water in the evening when it won’t evaporate
  • Pots and containers need lots of water to prevent drying out so plant directly into the ground as much as possible
  • Another good tip is to add a layer of plant material, like bark, to your flower bed to prevent evaporation and reduce the need for watering

On the Farm

  • Fix troughs – Watch out for overflowing drinking troughs as they can waste significant amounts of water. Adjust the ball valves to lower the float or replace faulty parts.
  • Dry cleaning: Save water when cleaning the yard by using dry-cleaning techniques. Use scrapers and brushes to remove solid waste from yards and pens before hosing. You can also use a small amount of water (e.g. one bucket) to pre-soak waste before cleaning. 
  • Clean plate cooler water: If you own a dairy farm, you can divert clean plate cooler water to a tank and use it for parlour washing 
  • Consider Rainwater Harvesting - rain from the roofs of farm buildings can be used for a variety of activities such as washing down yards. Consider the level of rainwater quality required for specific water uses on the farm (e.g. plant nurseries and field irrigation) and the surfaces and contamination risks before you consider installing appropriate rain water harvesting, treatment (filtration and UV) and storage systems. 
  • Take action to protect water sources: Avoid contamination of surface waters by reducing or eliminating access to livestock by fencing off watercourses. Pollution containing animal faeces can affect the water environment, nutrients and soil. Destroyed bankside vegetation can also contribute to flooding.
  • There are lots more water saving tips for farmers on our agriculture conservation section.

Irish Water, as one of the leading water utilities in this space, has a first-of-its-kind dedicated water stewardship programme where we work with businesses to help them understand and reduce their water use. Find out more at water.ie/businessconserve with advice for a range of industries including hospitality, manufacturing, agriculture and small businesses.

More information on water conservation can be found on our conservation section.

Irish Water’s customer care helpline is open 24/7 on 1800 278 278 and customers can also contact us on Twitter @IWCare with any queries. For updates please visit our Water Supply Updates section.