“A very serious situation” – Irish Water appeal to people to conserve water

Galway city news Water outages in Salthill due to burst mains today

Irish Water has appealed to the public to conserve water during this latest heatwave – which Met Éireann is predicting will last for another ten days.

Water supplies are already under pressure in many areas, and the prolonged dry spell has worsened this situation.

Irish Water says its 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 while areas in Donegal and Mullingar have been identified as being at risk.

Levels in rivers and lakes are dropping significantly and demand for water is increasing, 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 summer to that of 1976 when drought conditions were experienced across the country.

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 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.”

Irish Water’s Leakage Reduction Programme has teams on the ground now but they also need the public’s support to reduce their water usage.

The top three measures 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.