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Wednesday 18 October 2017

People urged to 'conserve water' as dry spell leaves supplies running low throughout the country

Customers advised to take a number of steps to conserve water supplies

Hannah and Charity Foley enjoy the weather in St Stephen’s Green, Dublin. Photo: Collins Photos
Hannah and Charity Foley enjoy the weather in St Stephen’s Green, Dublin. Photo: Collins Photos

Ian Begley

Water supplies across the country are running low due to exceptionally dry weather this year.

Irish Water is now asking customers in several areas around the country to "conserve and minimise" their water usage for the foreseeable future.

"Low rainfall for several months, especially through the winter period, will have a knock-on effect on available raw water supplies across the country in coming months", said a spokesperson for Ervia, Irish Water's parent company.

Areas affected include Donegal, Galway and Westmeath.

Baby elephant Vani cooling down at Dublin Zoo. Photo: Justin Farrelly
Baby elephant Vani cooling down at Dublin Zoo. Photo: Justin Farrelly
21/06/17. Vani the baby Elephant cooling down on the longest and hottest day of the year at Dublin Zoo today. Pic: Justin Farrelly
21/06/17. Zinda the baby Elephant cooling down on the longest and hottest day of the year at Dublin Zoo today. Pic: Justin Farrelly

The water utility even had to impose water restrictions during times of lower demand.

The spokesperson added that Irish Water is working with local authorities to find and repair leaks.

In Donegal, consumers connected from the Lough Colm source have been asked to conserve as much water as possible.

In Galway, nightly water restrictions that were in place on Inis Mór from May 15 have ceased following heavy and persistent rainfall which led to a restocking of the water stores on the island.

Due to the very low availability of fresh water for treatment on Inis Oírr, Irish Water has started tankering water to the island to ensure the availability of a drinking supply for islanders and visitors during the summer period.

Irish Water is also advising customers in Westmeath to continue to conserve water usage for the foreseeable future due to exceptionally low levels of raw water from Lough Owel.

Dublin, however, is not affected by the shortage, as the county has five water treatment plants and a number of ground water sources.

A spokesperson told the Irish Independent that whenever one area of the capital is low on water, a neighbouring plant will increase its supply.

"Dublin is a different situation to other areas. The three areas in the country currently affected by the water shortages have no other water sources.

"But in Dublin there are five major water treatment plants. If there is a shortage in one of them, they can move water around.

"Obviously, Dublin was equally affected by the long dry spells, but the county won't get to a critical point like other areas," said the spokesperson.

Irish Water issued a number of tips for conserving water this summer, which include:

  • Leak-free: Check that your home is leak-free. Check for running overflows and fix any dripping taps, cisterns or pipes.
  • Don't let the tap run: Brushing your teeth with the tap running can use up to a staggering six litres per minute. Brushing your teeth with the tap off will use a more modest one litre of water.
  • Shower v bath: The average bath uses 80 litres of water compared to an average shower using 49 litres.
  • Fully loaded: Always ensure your dishwasher and washing machines are fully loaded.

Irish Independent

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