Following a period of rainfall over the last number of weeks, Irish Water is reporting that water levels on Lough Owel have experienced a gradual improvement but is advising customers to continue to be mindful of their water usage over the Christmas period in order to avoid the requirement for water restrictions next Spring. 

Water levels are still lower than last year

After the exceptionally dry summer, water levels on the Lough continued to drop to its lowest point on 29 October and while there has been a small recovery over the last weeks due to rainfall, water levels are still not at a level that would be expected for this time of year.

Water levels on the Lough stand at 300mm lower than they were this time last year which in itself were very low. This equates to 10 months less water supply for the 50,000 residents and business-owners in Mullingar and surrounding areas who are dependent on the lake for their water supply. 

Commenting on the situation, John O’Donoghue, Head of Operations for the East and Midlands at Irish Water said, ‘Over the Christmas period we are asking people to remain mindful of their water consumption. There has been decent rainfall over the last weeks but we’re not out of the woods yet. As the Lough is a spring- fed lake any rain that falls today will take a number of months to percolate through soils and bedrock before it gets to the lake. Even though there may be heavy rain on any given day, only the rain that falls on the lake, which is minimal, will have an immediate effect.' 

Possibility of imposing water restrictions to bring down demand on the supply

If we were to experience a period of dry weather over the next month or two, there is the very real possibility that Irish Water may have to impose restrictions in order to bring down demand on the supply in the New Year.

Under its Leakage Reduction Programme Irish Water continues to carry out a range of works to bring down demand on the supply. A significant programme of backyard mains replacement is due to start in Mullingar early in the New Year and we urge customers to fix internal leaks and avail of our Find and Fix programme.

We would like to thank our customers for their ongoing water conservation efforts and ask them to continue to work with us as we closely monitor the situation. We also ask that if any one sees a leak to immediately report it to Irish Water on 1850 278 278.’

More information

For tips of water conservation please visit our Conserve Water page.

For details of this national programme, please visit our Leakage Reduction Programme page.

Westmeath

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