In order to conserve water supplies during a time of high domestic usage and a run of good weather, Irish Water is imposing a hosepipe ban from tomorrow.
The hosepipe ban follows on from earlier pleas to conserve water by not using powerwashers. It will be in place from Tuesday, June 9 until July 21.
Parts of Galway have already been been under water restrictions due to low supplies.
Inis Oírr and Inis Mór of the Aran Islands remain under restriction which were first imposed on April 20.
The Ballinasloe area was also temporarily under nightly water restrictions at the end of May due to low reservoir levels.
May 2020 was the driest since 1850, Met Eireann has confirmed. Their data shows that temperatures were above average in nearly all areas and rainfall totals in every county were below average for the season.
Monitoring carried out on lakes, rivers, and other drinking water sources by Irish Water since March has confirmed that this has impacted the national supply.
Of Irish Water’s 900 drinking water schemes, 27 currently are in drought and 50 are at risk of going into drought.
The weather forecast is for a continuation of drier than normal conditions which will further exacerbate the situation.
Niall Gleeson, Managing Director of Irish Water, says that their priority is preserving supply for homes and businesses, with the added demand of “essential sanitation” due to COVID-19.
“As demand continues to outstrip supply and the dry weather looks set to continue, Irish Water has taken the extra step of implementing a Water Conservation Order.”
While the good weather tends to bring adults and children alike into the garden, using a hosepipe for one hour is the equivalent of an entire family’s daily water usage.
“During this time we are supporting and advising our commercial large water users on their conservation efforts and we are grateful for all of the measures they have taken so far.”
“We are also working with our Local Authority partners and others to ramp up leak detection and repair, particularly in water stressed areas.”
The key message behind the ban is to leave the hosepipe and the power washer in the shed, he said, adding that people should also take shorter showers, and reuse household water for the garden.
“Safeguarding the supply of water is essential at this time when handwashing and hygiene is of critical importance. We are calling on everyone to play their part.”