HOUSEHOLDERS and businesses have been warned to conserve water amid a major shortage of treated supplies in the Dublin area.
All areas of the capital will be hit by nightly water restrictions, which are "likely" to lead to a loss of supply from tonight.
Restrictions throughout the Dublin region will be implemented each night from 8pm until 7am, and it is likely they will last until next Monday.
The country's biggest local authority, Dublin City Council (DCC), which supplies four council areas in the capital, blamed a "serious production problem" at the Ballymore Eustace Water Treatment Plant for the conservation measures.
And it confirmed work was under way to "identify the cause of the problem", but it may take some time to resolve the issue.
The levels in the water reservoirs will be examined on a daily basis but officials insisted the measure was necessary to return treated drinking water supplies to a normal level.
Businesses relying heavily on water, including the restaurant industry, warned it could impact harshly on trade during the notoriously tough November month.
"Businesses are trying to survive, facing into a tough November," he said, adding the restaurant body had been given little notice of the measures.
However, a spokesman for DCC said bodies such as the Restaurant Association had been contacted to inform them of the necessary conservation moves.
Mr Cummins said measures need to be taken to ensure a proper water system for the capital after restrictions were imposed across the Dublin region earlier this year during a cold spell.
"They are doing nothing for the night-time economy which is trying to cook food and keep consumers fed. You need water to run a restaurant," said Mr Cummins.
The council apologised for any inconvenience and stressed there is no problem with the quality of treated drinking water.
Householders have been asked to restrict their use of water as much as possible, and emphasised that small measures such as shortening showers and turning off taps while brushing teeth could help.
Visit taptips.ie for more information on how to conserve water in the home.