The hosepipe ban has been extended again in Offaly
Irish Water's hosepipe ban introduced because of the drought has been extended for 16 counties, including Laois.
The Irish Water Board met on Tuesday to assess the need to extend the Water Conservation Orders that will expire on Friday, August 31 in a bid to safeguard water supply for homes and businesses across the country.
The Board considered detailed analysis of drinking water sources (river flows and lake levels) from engineering experts within Irish Water and the local authorities, including the hydrologist records of OPW and the ESB and future weather forecasts.
It determined that the Water Conservation Order will remain in place for the Greater Dublin Area which includes Dublin, Wicklow and Kildare and in counties Louth, Meath, Offaly Westmeath, Laois, Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary, Waterford, Wexford, Carlow and Kilkenny until Sunday, September 30 of this year.
Irish Water says it is continuing to manage scarce resources in these areas with the local authorities and specialist contractors doing everything practical to reduce leaks, manage demands and maintain continuity of supply.
Emergency work on upgrading borehole pumping plants, introducing new boreholes in some areas and deploying temporary weirs at critical river intakes are helping to maximise water available in these southern counties.
The Water Conservation Order has been lifted for the north-west region which includes Clare, Galway, Mayo, Sligo, Leitrim, Roscommon, Donegal, Longford, Cavan and Monaghan.
In the Midlands and south-east, supplies are now generally functioning normally, with full-service levels available.
However, borehole and river levels remain historically low and we must provide for potentially dry weather during September.
The water utility is appealing to all customers to continue to conserve water in these areas as the supplies remain lower than normal.
The Water Conservation Order prohibits use of water drawn through a hosepipe or similar for the purpose of: watering a garden; cleaning a private motor-vehicle using a hosepipe; cleaning a private leisure boat using a hosepipe; filling or maintaining a domestic swimming or paddling pool (except when using hand-held containers filled directly from a tap).
Others include: filling or maintaining a domestic pond (excluding fish ponds) using a hosepipe; filling or maintaining an ornamental fountain (with the exception of such use for commercial purposes); use of water for filling or replenishing an artificial pond (excluding fish ponds), lake or similar application.
On the extension of the Water Conservation Orders, Irish Water’s General Manager, Eamon Gallon said: "The 2018 drought conditions have demonstrated the vulnerability of many of our water supplies, notably in the south, east and Midlands.
"Irish Water engineers and hydrological experts are working with experts from the EPA, OPW, ESB, local authorities and other agencies to monitor river flows and lake levels.
"We continue to liaise with Inland Fisheries Ireland regarding impacts of abstractions from rivers and lakes and wastewater discharges on fish life.
Advice on water conservation measures are available on our website on www.water.ie