Dublin to endure month-long 'hosepipe ban'

Geraldine Hartnell pouring water from the water tanker provided by Cork County Council, for her neighbours Justine Cromhaught, Josephine O'Driscoll and Charleen Bekker in Ballyhooly, Co Cork. Photo: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision.

Update - 4.45pm: Irish Water has confirmed a "hosepipe ban" for the greater Dublin area from Monday.

The Water Conservation Order will be in place until July 31, making it illegal for people to use water for non-essential activities.

    These include:

  • Watering a garden
  • Cleaning a private motor-vehicle using a domestic hosepipe
  • Cleaning a private leisure boat using a hosepipe
  • Filling or maintaining a domestic swimming or paddling pool - except when using a watering can
  • Filling or maintaining a domestic pond using a hosepipe - excluding fish ponds
  • Filling or maintaining a domestic ornamental fountain
  • Use of water for filling or replenishing an artificial pond, lake or similar application - - excluding fish ponds.

Anyone found to be in breach of the ban could face a fine of €125.

Irish Water also says it will examine the more than 100 at-risk schemes around the country to see if similar orders need to be applied.

The utility had said it will keep the situation under review and has warned it may have to extend the order if necessary.

The utility announced the ban following consultations with its legal team.

Update: Irish Water considering 'hosepipe ban' as water demand reaches 'unsustainable levels'

Irish Water says it could soon be illegal to fill a paddling pool or water your garden during the heatwave.

It says that consultations are taking place with their legal team to impose a so-called ‘hosepipe ban’ after supplies fell again overnight.

The enforcement could come into effect in seven days and people would face fines of up to €125.

Irish water restricted supply in the greater Dublin area overnight, where demand has reached "unsustainable levels" at 600 million litres a day.

People are being urged to have short showers and to avoid watering their garden or washing their car.

A forest fire at Slade Valley, Dublin yesterday. Photo: Gavin Delaney/@gavsaerials.

Meanwhile, the Department of Agriculture has issued a Red Warning for forest fires which took effect at 9am this morning and is effective until 12pm on Monday.

The high temperatures and drought conditions mean that there is an ''extreme fire risk'' in some areas.

Dublin Fire brigade has also issued a reminder to the public to be vigilant, as there is "a real risk to lives and property in areas around forest and gorse".

The warnings come after dozens of forest and gorse fires have dotted the landscape in recent days due to the hot weather.

Three units of Dublin Fire Brigade and 16 firefighters were called to extinguish a blaze in the Slade Valley area of Dublin yesterday.

Fire Services in Wicklow have tackled 42 fires over the last two days, an up to 70 firefighters attended gorse, forest and wildland fires across the county at its peak yesterday afternoon.

The Civil Defence will deploy drones this weekend to provide an overview of difficult to reach locations as the dry spell continues.

Fire officers are urging people to only have BBQs in designated areas and dispose of cigarette butts carefully while the current weather conditions remain in place.

Earlier: Public urged to conserve water as restrictions could continue into autumn

By Joe Leogue

Households across the country are facing water restrictions and outages as the ongoing heatwave continues to put the water network under extreme pressure.

Irish Water has urged the public to conserve water and has warned that the restrictions could be long term if dry conditions persist into the autumn.

It has also raised the possibility of taking legal action such as enforcing hose pipe bans, if necessary, to preserve the supply.

More than 100 supplies across the country, including Cork, Limerick, Tipperary, Clare, Kerry, and Waterford, have been hit with water restrictions or outages, or have been identified as being at risk.

The stress on the water network is impacting both urban and rural areas. Irish Water says the daily demand in the greater Dublin area has exceeded the supply it can safely provide.

Farmers’ representatives have demanded that Irish Water step up its efforts to maintain the water supply to farms across the country.

Temperatures nationwide are expected to remain in the high-20s today, with some locations recording highs in excess of 30C yesterday.

As a result of the ongoing heatwave:

  • Households in Dublin, Kilkenny, Longford, Athlone, north Galway, Louth, and Kerry have experienced outages and a restricted water supply so far;
  • Irish Water has identified 100 water supply schemes around the country as being “at risk”;
  • Iarnród Éireann is to distribute 50,000 bottles of water to commuters over the coming days to keep passengers hydrated./li]
  • Irish Water said its drought management team is meeting daily and is monitoring water supplies and demand around the country.
  • It said it can sustainably and safely produce 610m litres of water per day for the Greater Dublin Area, but that yesterday, demand in the capital and surrounding regions reached 615m litres.

    The 100 supply schemes warned as being “at risk” are in Cork, Wicklow, Limerick, Kilkenny, Carlow, Tipperary, Clare, Mayo, Sligo, Donegal, Galway, Roscommon, Laois, Kerry, Waterford, and Offaly.

    The president of the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA), Pat McCormack, said farmers in the south-east have been hardest hit by recent water shortages. He called on Irish Water to ensure farms are adequately supplied.

    “The onus here to come up with feasible supply options is squarely on Irish Water,” said Mr McCormack.

    “ICMSA will absolutely not accept a situation where the agency directly charged with providing water — for which farmers pay and have always paid — just shrugs its shoulders and says they can’t supply the water that we need to look after our animals, the welfare of which is an obligation that farmers take very, very seriously.”

    Irish Water’s corporate affairs manager, Kate Gannon, said the utility has 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,” she said.

    “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 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.”

    This story originally appeared on the Irish Examiner

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