Irish Water’s Drought Management Team monitoring Longford water supplies
With Longford already experiencing restricted water supply and outages, Irish Water has revealed that its Drought Management Team is meeting daily and monitoring water supplies and demand around the country.
Nationally, Irish Water have today identified 100 water supply schemes around the country that are now at risk.
Customers in Kilkenny, Longford, Athlone, North Galway, Louth and Kerry have already experienced restricted water supply and outages in some cases. Currently almost 4,000 customers are impacted.
Some areas in Cork, Wicklow, Limerick, Kilkenny, Carlow, Tipperary, Clare, Mayo, Sligo, Donegal, Galway, Roscommon, Laois, Limerick, Kerry, Waterford and Offaly have been identified as being at risk.
Irish Water are also advising of additional measures to protect Dublin’s water supplies as the water usage has increased again in the last 24 hours.
In the Greater Dublin Area, Irish Water can sustainably and safely produce 610 million litres of water per day. In the past 24 hours demand reached 615 megalitres. This level of demand meant drawing from treated water storage to maintain full supply. This option can only be maintained for a limited period of a few weeks. This record level of summer consumption is also depleting raw water reserves needed for the coming months.
Irish Water’s priority is to minimise the impact on homes and businesses, particularly during this period of holidays and high tourism. Irish Water, working with the local authorities, has lowered night time water pressure levels in the Greater Dublin Area to the minimum level that will not impact businesses but will assist Irish Water managing demand more effectively. Irish Water is monitoring reports of private side leaks and other non-essential uses and is reviewing its enforcement options. We will update on these in the coming days.
Irish Water remain very concerned about the possibility of having to impose restrictions in the long term. This will become unavoidable if the dry conditions persist into the Autumn with lower than normal rainfalls.
Demand for water is increasing while levels in rivers and lakes are dropping significantly which means that is there is less water available to treat and supply to homes and businesses.
Commenting on the ongoing situation, Irish Water’s Corporate Affairs Manager, Kate Gannon said
“We are very grateful to the public and to businesses for all efforts to conserve water. Every small measure has a positive impact. We were very encouraged for example to see Dublin Bus commit to only washing their fleet every three days instead of every day. Several other businesses who are large water users have confirmed to us that are implementing water conservation measures and we are very thankful to them for their contribution.”
“Where restrictions are necessary we are endeavouring to do them at times that will have the minimal impact on homes and businesses. Irish Water have been liaising with farming representative groups to provide what practical support we can. Lowering the water pressure in Dublin is designed to save water without causing disruption to customers.”
“We have a long way to go. If the drought is prolonged, water restrictions would become unavoidable if demand does not continue to drop. Irish Water are appealing to the public to be continue to be mindful of their water usage. Every effort someone makes in their home or business impacts their neighbour and community. Irish Water have lots of tips for conserving water in the home, garden and business on water.ie.”
“Irish Water are also currently assessing all legal options open to us and how they could be implemented. Our first priority is to work with customers and support them as they conserve water but we will have to use legal measures if necessary.”
“The situation remains critical and we are continuing to seek the public’s help. Every effort the public make to conserve water will help to minimise risk of supply loss to them and their community.”