Commited to identifying long term solutions to summer water shortages

Irish Water is committed to safeguarding the water supply to customers on the Aran Islands and has reiterated its commitment to identifying long term solutions to summer water shortages on the islands.

Lack of rainfall may lead to shortages

We are concerned that lack of rainfall during the spring and early summer of 2019 will lead to shortages over the coming months and water storage levels are relatively low for this time of year.

The situation is being constantly monitored, and, while rain over the June Bank Holiday weekend has had a limited positive effect, night time restrictions will be imposed for Inis Oirr in the coming days.

Tim O’Connor

“Finding a sustainable solution to low levels of raw water on the Aran Islands remains a priority for Irish Water. Demand for drinking water on the islands increases significantly during the summer months due to the large influx of tourists. This puts considerable pressure on raw water supplies, almost entirely comprised of stored rainwater, which are used to provide treated water."

“Water restrictions were in place on all three islands during the summer months last year with Irish Water appealing at the time to residents, businesses and visitors to the islands to conserve water wherever possible. Drinking water was tankered to Inis Oirr throughout last summer in order to maintain a supply.”

Reducing water demand through repairing leaks

In a bid to reduce water demand our Leakage Reduction Programme working with Galway County Council and local caretakers is actively locating and repairing public side leaks. Private side leak repairs have been offered to the public through the First Fix Free scheme, along with advice and information on how to conserve water. See our Water Conservation page for tips on how you can conserve water.

Asking people to avail of free leak investigation offer

Recent water meter readings indicate that a small number of properties on Inis Mór have usage of over 2,000 litres of water per day, with 94,000 litres per day, or 15 per cent of the island’s consumption, being used by about four per cent of the consumers. Our First Fix Free crews will be contacting these householders in early June and we are appealing to people to respond positively to the offer of a free leak investigation. We are also appealing to householders to check for leaks on their properties and especially at holiday homes where toilets and taps may be leaking.

For further information visit our First Fix Free scheme page. We have also engaged with local communities providing information workshops and water saving devices for large users on the islands. Leakage savings and water conservation will help to secure a resilient water supply for the islands.

Upgrades have improved drinking water quality

Drinking water quality has improved on each of the three islands following upgrades and improvement works to the water treatment plants on Inis Oirr, Inis Meáin and Inis Mór. The upgrade on Inis Meáin has led to the scheme being lifted off the Environmental Protection Agency’s Remedial Action List, ensuring a long term safe supply of drinking water for the island. Upgrades to the UV treatment systems at Inis Mór’s two water treatment plants at Kilcarna and Cregacareen have also taken place over the winter.

Following a review of construction options, building reservoirs on Inis Oirr and Inis Meáin is currently not a viable solution. A design team has been appointed to investigate alternative solutions to the reservoirs. When detailed solutions become available they will be shared with local stakeholders.

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