Hosepipe bans loom as Irish Water says water supplies reach 'drought status' in some places

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Conor Ganly

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Conor Ganly

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news@carlowlive.ie

drought

Irish Water appeal to everyone to conserve water

Water supplies have reached "drought status" while others have reached "at risk" level, according to Irish Water which says hosepipe bans are being considered to conserve supplies.

The utility revealed that nearly 50 schemes are in trouble in a statement issued over the weekend. 

"In light of the prolonged dry spell and the increased domestic usage since the start of the Covid 19 restrictions, Irish Water are carefully monitoring all our water sources for any signs of drought impact.

"Irish Water’s Water Scarcity Group has been meeting since March to monitor all of the raw water levels in the country – that is the water from lakes, rivers, springs and ground sources that feed our water treatment plants."

Irish Water said demand patterns changed due to the Covid-19 restrictions but as the restriction roadmap is rolled out demand on low supplies is growing.

"Now the increased domestic demand and increase in commercial demand as businesses are reopening is being exacerbated by warm weather and the growth of drought conditions," it said.

Irish Water said the impact of the fine weather is being felt across the country and further steps may be necessary.

"Of Irish Water’s 900 drinking water schemes, 15 are already at ‘drought status’ and another 23 are at risk of going into a drought.

"The weather forecast is for continued dry conditions which will further impact on the situation and in light of same we are exploring all options, including the requirement for Water Conservation Orders (hosepipe bans)," said the statement.

The company said it had already taken steps to reduce usage by encouraging people to use less water. 

"Two weeks ago, we urged the public to choose handwashing over power washing as domestic water usage increased by an average of 20% with more people were staying at home in response to the Covid-19 crisis.

"Irish Water is continuing to appeal to the public to conserve water now where they can while  following the HSE guidance on handwashing.

"There are some simple measures that the public can take including stopping the use of powerwashers at home; using a watering can rather than a hose in the garden; taking showers over baths; fixing any dripping taps where it is possible to do so," it said.

The company said advice and guidance for homes, businesses and farms, including information on how much water you can have with simple measures on water.ie/conservation