3 July 2018 Go back to News
Sligo customers urged to continue conserving water during unprecedented dry spell
Public are urged to conserve water in every way possible to ensure a continuous supply
Irish Water and Sligo County Council are continuing to monitoring all water supplies across the county on a daily basis while this unprecedented dry spell continues. There are currently no water restrictions in place in Co Sligo, however, the public are urged to conserve water in every possible way to ensure a continuous supply for all. The North Sligo water supply scheme has been identified as being at-risk and customers supplied from this scheme are asked to be especially mindful of their water consumption at this critical time.
As the weather conditions remain warm and the drought is increasingly reducing water levels in rivers, lakes and boreholes, production at water treatment plants is struggling to meet increasing demand.
Conserve water now and for the months ahead
As well as reducing consumption, we are appealing to the public to report leaks on the public water network to 1850 278 278 and to repair private side leaks in both homes and in businesses. You can also report a leak using our online form. The public are asked to change their mind set on water usage and to conserve water now and for the months ahead, as it will take many weeks and even months for raw water levels to restore in rivers, lakes, and boreholes and for treated water levels to restore in our storage reservoirs.
Across the country, We are working with local authorities to do everything possible to conserve water availability, examining how we can make further inroads into leakage by mobilising extra crews and seeking maximum public cooperation in saving water. We now have over 30 water supplies under night-time water restrictions and over 130 water supplies at risk due to high consumption. We are tankering water from larger schemes to top up reservoirs where levels are falling and trying to protect borderline supplies so as to protect water supply to homes and businesses. This work becomes more challenging as the drought impacts spread nationally and the reserves of water fall across the country.
Large commercial users have committed to conserving water
We will continue to encourage and support the public in their conservation efforts and we are grateful for all measures that have been taken in homes and businesses. In the last week the utility has also been in touch with large commercial users who have committed to conserve water and we are very grateful to them for their efforts.
Our drought management team will continue to meet daily and is monitoring water supplies and demand around the country. This work is coordinated daily through our three regional teams and the 31 local authorities operating the system. Local authority crews have been on the ground managing supplies, trying to control pressures and in critical schemes managing restrictions on night use to try to protect critical day-time use. Crews are busy identifying and fixing leaks to try to take pressure off the system and Irish Water wants to recognise and acknowledge the efforts that are being made. Irish Water is working to mobilise additional resources for finding and repairing leaks in support of the local authority efforts.
Please continue to report all leaks on the public network
We continue to ask the public to notify us of leaks which we always follow up. Public side leaks are dealt with in the first instance by the local authority teams. We have contractors available to assist with private side leaks under the ‘First Fix’ scheme. Where we cannot access private property to repair obvious leaks, we are committed to serving enforcement notices under the legislation to enable us to have these effectively addressed.
Water Conservation Order
The Water Conservation Order and hosepipe ban for the Greater Dublin Area is in place until July 31 but Irish Water will keep the situation under review and may have to extend the period of time the order is in place. It is likely that similar orders will be brought in over the coming weeks on other schemes.
The primary purpose of these orders is to mobilise maximum public support and engagement on minimising water use during the crisis. Similar drought orders have been introduced in Northern Ireland and in British water utilities and operate by mobilising public support for responsible behaviour. Irish Water is backing up these orders by increasing the number of call centre agents to take calls from the public and we will follow up such reports to encourage water conservation measures and to offer technical support, for example advice or support on how to repair leaks. We believe that this approach will deliver the best outcomes in terms of saving water.
Our primary concern is for longer term supplies in late summer and autumn. Based on modelling in previous dry years, and allowing for how dry the ground now is, we need to maximise conservation of raw water at this time to secure our needs over the coming months. Therefore, these urgent conservation messages are of critical importance to communities in Dublin and the other marginal supply areas across the country.
Water Conservation Advice
For more information on how to conserve water at home, in the garden, on the farm, or at work, visit our Water Conservation page.