More than 50% of Irish people admit to wasting water

More than 50% of Irish people admit to wasting water

More than half of Irish people admit that they waste water.

A new Irish Water survey has found 52% of the public acknowledges that they waste water and 25% of people believe that they do not need to conserve water because of the level of rainfall in Ireland.

Last year a hosepipe ban was introduced because of the worst drought the country had seen in 70 years.

People used 30 litres of water less than usual during the drought.

Irish Water is launching a water-conservation campaign encouraging people to only use what they need.

The utility says the campaign is vital to safeguard the supply for future generations.

Irish Water's Tom Cuddy says people need to change their thinking towards water waste.

"This is a life choice issue. It's a fundamental change in people's behaviour," said Mr Cuddy.

"But this isn't a seasonal factor. This is an all year round and it's an ongoing, persistent situation.

"People have changed in relation to plastic bags, green bins and low bulbs... In fact, there is a lot that people can do to save water."

Highlighting some of the things that can be done to conserve water, Mr Cuddy said: "Well we have the straight forward ones for the household.

"Essentially turning off the tap, we calculated it saves about six litres a minute by not having the tap running while you're brushing your teeth.

"Also showering is much more conservative then having a bath."

Irish Water head of asset management Sean Laffey said: “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.

“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.

“We are encouraging everyone to play their part and use only what they need.”

The company admitted leakage is a massive problem but it said it has a plan in place and is fixing more than 1,500 leaks every month.

The current national leakage rate is 43%.

- additional reporting by Press Association

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