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Sunday 20 August 2017

Power shower effect: upmarket homes using 'vast' amounts of water

In Dublin 6, which includes Ranelagh, Rathmines and Rathgar, average daily consumption is 488 litres a day. Stock picture
In Dublin 6, which includes Ranelagh, Rathmines and Rathgar, average daily consumption is 488 litres a day. Stock picture
Paul Melia

Paul Melia

Homeowners living in the capital's most expensive suburbs consume far more water than the majority of households across the State.

Large houses boasting en suites and equipped with power showers appear to be driving up water consumption, new figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) suggest.

An analysis of consumption based on metered usage shows that homes in Dublin 4, Dublin 6 and Dublin 13 consume far more water than anywhere else.

Nationally, each household consumes an average of 383 litres of water a day. Homeowners in Tipperary and Kerry use the highest amount on a county-by-county basis at 430 litres.

But a breakdown of Dublin postal districts tells a different tale.

In Dublin 6, which includes Ranelagh, Rathmines and Rathgar, average daily consumption is 488 litres a day.

In Dublin 4, which includes Sandymount, Ballsbridge and Donnybrook, it's 459 litres and in Dublin 13, which includes Sutton and Howth, it's 444 litres.

Many of these properties tend to be family homes, bigger than the average and with large gardens, which may be boosting consumption. They may also be suffering from leaks which have not been repaired.

Conversely, consumption is lowest in Dublin 2, where household sizes are smaller and many live in apartments.

Excess

But the CSO noted that thousands of households are using vast quantities of water every day. Just 0.3pc of all metered homes - almost 2,200 - consume 12pc of all treated water produced across the year.

The figure stands at 10.8 million cubic metres - or almost 11 billion litres of water. The CSO said these households consume more than 10,000 litres a day. Some 31pc of all water produced is consumed by just 3.4pc of all homes (26,225), suggesting a huge level of leakage.

The 'Domestic Metered Public Water Consumption 2015' report also suggested that if the Government proceeds with a recommendation from the Dáil Committee on the Future Funding of Domestic Water Services to impose a charge for excess use, around 66,000 households will be hit.

The committee said that each person in the State consumed 133 litres of water a day.

The CSO said the 'average' home was occupied by 2.75 people, meaning 'average' consumption was some 621 litres per household.

The metering report said 66,595 households consume 600 litres or more a day - these could be hit with an excess charge. About 26,225 households use 1,000 litres or more a day.

The data is based on meter readings supplied by Irish Water. The number of domestic water meters in January 2015 was 519,781, and this increased to 764,319 by December 2015.

Data could not be supplied for Dublin 17 and Dublin 24 due to the "relatively small number" of meter installations. These areas were among those most opposed to charges, and where protests were held.

The CSO also looked at properties with low levels of usage. Some 231,405 households used less than 150 litres a day. The lowest level of consumption is in Cavan at 313 litres, compared with Kerry and Tipperary which had the highest annual average of 430. It also showed a slight increase in the average daily consumption when comparing 2014 and 2015, from 381 to 383 litres.

Irish Independent

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