Latest: Irish Water deny water conservation needed due to leaky pipes

Update 3.30pm: Irish Water is denying water conservation is needed because of leaky pipes.

The utility is been accused of causing a water shortage as its own figures show 50% leakage across the country.

It admits the water network needs to be improved and is working on the first phase of its plan which is costing €500m.

Irish Water's Mark McAuley says find and fix crews are tackling old networks and sourcing pipes that need to be replaced.

"€500m worth of work is a significant programme," said Mr McAuley.

"Over the four years, it will drive down leakage. After that what we'll be looking at the level of leakage we have then and the required next step of the plan.

"So this is only the beginning of a very long-term plan but it is the first four-year tranche of it."

As the heatwave continues, the demand for water is outstripping supply across the country.

It was announced that a hosepipe ban would be introduced starting today in the Greater Dublin area

From today, Dubliners will be fined for using a hosepipe to water their garden, wash their car, or fill their children's paddling pool.

This could be extended beyond the capital within days, as Irish Water urgently appeals to the public to conserve water as much as possible and avoid unnecessary use.

Earlier today, Tánaiste Simon Coveney called for a “national effort” in order to deal with water restrictions as the lack of rain is set to continue across Ireland.

- Digital Desk

Update 11.23am: Taoiseach and Tánaiste call for 'national effort' to conserve water amid hosepipe ban

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Tánaiste Simon Coveney have urged people to conserve water as the country's dry spell is set to continue, writes Daniel McConnell from New York.

Mr Varadkar called on people to do the right thing and observe the hose-pipe ban which has come into effect from today.

Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney speaking in New York yesterday. Photo: Daniel McConnell.

Speaking in New York, the two men said the country needs to come together to ensure water is not wasted and properly used.

Mr Coveney called for a “national effort” in order to deal with water restrictions as the lack of rain is set to continue across Ireland.

“I think there’s a need for a national effort here. When we had an extreme weather event in winter, an incredibly cold spell with an awful lot more snow than anybody could remember, there was a huge effort nationally for people to support each other. There was an awful lot of voluntary effort that made a huge impact across communities,” he said.

Mr Varadkar said adopting a hardline approach to those abusing water will not be the first course of action.

“The law is there and there are penalties under the law to allow us to fine people or prosecute people that waste water, but that’s not the approach that I think we should taking. I think we should be asking people to do the right thing as citizens,” he said.

“We have reservoirs, we’re able to produce lots of water every day, but we can’t have people misusing it and wasting it, so we really are asking everyone for the period ahead to conserve water."

"We’re going to have a number of weeks, the weather looks like it’s going to stay dry and sunny for the next couple of weeks, hopefully people will enjoy that, it’s been great to have such good weather having had such a long six-month bad water,” he added.

He also said people should turn off the tap when they are brushing their teeth.

Earlier: Dublin hosepipe ban begins today as drought conditions continue

A hosepipe ban is now in operation in the Greater Dublin area as Irish Water calls urgently on the public to conserve water.

Production plants are struggling to meet increasing demand as drought conditions take a grip around the country,

39 water supplies are under night-time water restrictions and over 100 are at risk.

As the heatwave continues, the demand for water is outstripping supply across the country.

From today, Dubliners will be fined for using a hosepipe to water their garden, wash their car, or fill their children's paddling pool.

This could be extended beyond the capital within days, as Irish Water urgently appeals to the public to conserve water as much as possible and avoid unnecessary use.

It's been dry for the past four months, with Met Éireann reporting rainfall on par with 1976 when the country suffered a major drought.

The Water Conservation Order for Dublin will be in place for the whole of the month, but Irish Water already says it may have to extend that, to protect longer-term supplies in late summer and autumn.

- Digital Desk


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