Water conservation and hospipe bans extended to summer's end as rain will not replenish supplies

Rivers at 'unheard of levels' due to the drought

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

Email:

news@leinsterexpress.ie

water drought rain

Hospipe ban to remain in place.

Hospipe bans and water conservation orders are to be extended until summers end because recent rain will not be enough to restore drinking water supplies to adequate levels according to Irish Water.

The Irish Water Board met today, Friday, July 27, to discuss the on-going drought situation and Irish Water’s on-going response to safeguarding the supply for water for the future.

"It is the view of the water engineering experts within Local Authorities and Irish Water that the situation will remain critical up to and possibly beyond mid-August," said a statement issued afterwards.

"The Board reviewed the latest available data on water usage and the condition of the raw water sources around the country and have confirmed the extension of the timeline of the Water Conservation Orders, or hosepipe bans for the Greater Dublin Area and nationally until the 31st of August and a continuance of the Level 2 water pressure reductions in the Greater Dublin area for another two weeks," it said.

The utility said the most severe conditions continue to be in the east and south, where the rivers, lakes and groundwater tables are at record lows. It adds that latest OPW flow data shows over half of rivers are at levels that were previously unheard of in July.

Irish Water says Met Éireann has indicated that in the short-term that rainfall will not be at a level that will assist the recovery of raw water sources, particularly in the east and south of the country.

It says major operational interventions are taking place including relocating or upgrading pumps; using Irish Water hydrologists to investigate and drill additional boreholes as an interim measure; tankering water to reservoirs; and working closely with local authorities and additional contractors where necessary to find and fix the worst leaks that are impacting supply.

Chartered Engineer and Irish Water’s Corporate Affairs Manager Kate Gannon said supply is the key issue.

 “Irish Water’s first priority is to safeguard the water supply for communities, ensure a consistent and safe supply and minimise the impact of the drought. It has been very encouraging to see the conservation measures taken by homes and businesses and advice for those who would like to do a little bit more is available on water.ie.

“The measures that Irish Water has taken in the past few weeks have been done to conserve water while minimising the impact on homes and businesses. Whether it is tankering water to resevoirs or fixing leaks, each measure has been taken with the impact on the local community in mind. That is why Irish Water has urged customers to conserve water before putting the Water Conservation Order in place. That is why we have waited to see how demand for water would reduce in the Greater Dublin Area before confirming pressure management at night.

 “Irish Water is very aware that increased water pressure reductions in the Greater Dublin Area could have a negative impact on homes and businesses and the hospitality sector in particular. We are continuing to monitor the situation very closely,” she said.