Tipperary people are urged to conserve water during the hot spell

Ronan Dodd

Reporter:

Ronan Dodd

Tipperary people are urged to conserve water during the hot spell

Irish Water is appealing to the public to conserve water as a prolonged dry spell has been predicted by Met Éireann.

In several areas around the country where water supplies were already under pressure, warm weather has exacerbated this situation.

Demand for water is increasing while levels in rivers and lakes are dropping significantly which means that is there is less water available to treat and supply to homes and businesses.

This year has seen extended dry spells and Met Éireann has compared this to 1976 when drought conditions were experienced across the country.

Irish Water’s Drought Management Team are monitoring water supplies and demand around the country on a daily basis.

Already some areas in Athlone, Kilkenny and north Dublin have experienced outages and restrictions and areas in Donegal and Mullingar have been identified as being at risk.

In the Greater Dublin Area, where Irish Water can sustainably produce 610 mega litres of water per day, demand has risen to concerning levels. In the summer of 2017, an average of 565 mega litres of water per day was used. However, last Friday in the Greater Dublin Area 602 mega litres of water was used which is very close to the limit of sustainable production.

Irish Water’s corporate affairs manager Kate Gannon said: “If demand does not decrease we will start to see homes and businesses on the edge of the network in the Greater Dublin Area experience shortages, as happened in Skerries in recent weeks. The longer this continues, the more people will be at risk of shortages and outages.

She said that Irish Water’s Leakage Reduction Programme had teams on the ground now but the water agency also needed the public’s support to reduce their water usage.

The top three measure that people can take are not using a hose to water the garden or wash cars, keeping paddling pools very shallow if they are being used, and taking short showers rather than baths.

“Our drought management team is monitoring the situation daily across the country but if everyone can take these simple steps, it will help us to manage supply and demand. This is a very serious situation and we are seeking the public’s help. Every effort the public make to conserve water will benefit them and their community," said Ms Gannon.