Night-time restrictions in place as 70 Irish Water treatment plants at risk of drought

Night-time restrictions in place as 70 Irish Water treatment plants at risk of drought

The public is being urged not to use garden hoses or pressure washers and not to use paddling pools in an effort to conserve water.

Of the more than 750 Irish Water treatment plants across the country, 70 are in a drought or at the risk of drought with the majority of these in Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Wexford and Donegal.

Irish Water, which produces 1.7bn litres of drinking water every day, says that there has been no impact to many customers living in these counties, however, there are "targeted night-time restrictions" to ensure supplies during the day.

With recent high temperatures, the demand for treated drinking water has increased, particularly in tourist and coastal areas.

The utility says it is working closely with local authorities to maximise the amount of clean drinking water and make sure it is available to all customers.

Tom Cuddy, Head of Asset Operations with Irish Water said the unusual weather of 2021 has put pressure on areas that are reliant on groundwater sources.

"While we saw more rain than usual in May it followed one of the driest Aprils on record and in some areas of the country we have had little or no rain since early June," he said.

"Over the past seven days, there has been less than 1mm across the country and some stations in the Dublin area reporting 0mm."

Mr Cuddy added: "While temperatures are expected to drop next week, longer-term forecasts predict drier than normal conditions will continue into August.” 

Irish Water says there are currently no plans to implement a water conservation order as the majority of water treatment plants continue to provide unrestricted water supplies.

However, in an effort to conserve water supplies and avoid unnecessary usage, the public is being urged not to use garden hoses or pressure washers and not to use paddling pools in an effort to conserve water.

Irish Water says small changes can have lasting results including:

  • Take a shorter shower and save up to 10 litres of water per minute  
  • Fix dripping taps or leaking toilets in your home 
  • When brushing your teeth or shaving, turn off the tap and save up to 6 litres of water per minute 
  • Save and reuse water collected from baths, showers, and hand basins in the garden 
  • Avoid using paddling pools 
  • In the garden use a rose head watering can instead of a hose and aim for the roots 
  • If you need to wash your car, use a bucket and sponge instead of a hose 
  • Report any leaks to Irish Water at 1800 278 278.

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