One year on from the worst drought to hit Ireland in decades Irish Water is launching a water conservation campaign urging people to only use what they need.
Last summer’s drought saw the first ever Water Conservation orders (hosepipe bans) issued in the history of the country.
The west of Ireland and the islands were particularly badly hit by the drought with months of restrictions in place.
Irish Water says that water conservation is essential due to the economic and environmental cost of providing safe clean drinking water and the need to safeguard the supply for the future.
Research conducted by B&A for Irish Water has revealed that 52% of the public acknowledge that they waste water and 25% of people believe that they don’t need to conserve water because of the level of rainfall in Ireland.
“In 2018 bad storms followed by the prolonged drought last year really showed people that safe, clean, treated water is not in unlimited supply and that we all have to play a part in conserving it,” Head of Asset Management Seán Laffey, said.
“It was really encouraging last summer to see on social media and elsewhere, the conservation measures that people were taking in their homes and businesses.”
“However, when the urgency of a drought passes, it is easy to lose focus on how precious water is.”
“This is despite the fact that the financial and environmental impact of treating and providing drinking water does not decrease as rainfall increases.”
Each day in Ireland, 1.7 billion litres of water is collected, treated and pumped around a vast network of pipes to homes, businesses, hospitals and farms.
With a growing population Irish Water has said that it is a serious challenge to ensure that it is drawing and treating enough water for homes and businesses while still protecting the environment.
One the biggest areas of loss in Ireland’s water supply is from endemic leaks in our aging infrastructure.
Irish Water has said that it is tackling a leakage rate of 43%, and through remediation works will be in track to save 166 million litres of water a day by 2021.
For people looking for ways to save water in their own lives, Irish Water is providing information on their conservation campaign site.