Thursday 13 December 2018

Irish Water lowers water pressure in Dublin at night, warns almost 100 supplies nationwide 'at risk'

  • Water supply lowered at night in Greater Dublin Area as demand outstrips supply
  • Almost 100 water supplies deemed at risk
  • Thousands of customers facing restrictions that may last long-term
  • 'We are operating on a knife-edge' - Irish Water
  • Water schemes under increased pressure nationwide as country battles with soaring temperatures
  • In the Greater Dublin Area, the amount of water in storage is 20pc below target
Local children jump into Lake Corrib from Kilbeg Pier near Headford, Co. Galway
Photo: Tony Gavin
Local children jump into Lake Corrib from Kilbeg Pier near Headford, Co. Galway Photo: Tony Gavin
Natalie Haden from Edenderry enjoying the heatwave in Banagher, Co. Offaly. Photo: Tony Gavin

Denise Calnan and Kathy Armstrong

Water pressure has been lowered at night in the Greater Dublin area as Irish Water warned that almost 100 supplies are "at risk."

With temperatures topping 30C and showing no signs of cooling, Irish Water has said that demand in the capital has now surpassed supply.

Irish Water explained in a statement on their website this afternoon: "Our priority is to minimise the impact on homes and businesses, particularly during this period of holidays and high tourism.

"We are working with the local authorities, and have lowered night time water pressure levels in the Greater Dublin Area to the minimum level that will not impact businesses but will assist us in managing demand more effectively.

"We are monitoring reports of private side leaks and other non-essential uses and are reviewing enforcement options. We will provide an update in the coming days."

They continued to say they can sustainably and safely produce 610 million litres of water in the Great Dublin Area but demand had reached around 615 million litres in the past 24 hours.

Irish Water said that they have been using water from a treated storage to fulfill demand but this option can only be maintained for a few weeks and the record summer consumption level is also depleting the raw reserves that are needed in the coming months.

They noted that if the dry weather continues in autumn they may have to impose long term restrictions.

Another 100 water supply schemes nationwide are also at risk, with almost 4,000 customers in Kilkenny, Longford, Athlone, North Galway, Louth and Kerry already experiencing water restrictions.

Areas in Cork, Wicklow, Limerick, Kilkenny, Carlow, Tipperary, Clare, Mayo, Sligo, Donegal, Galway, Roscommon, Laois, Limerick, Kerry, Waterford and Offaly have also been identified as being at risk.

Irish Water’s Corporate Affairs Manager, Kate Gannon thanked the public for their support as she pleaded with people to conserve water supplies.

"Where restrictions are necessary we are endeavouring to do them at times that will have the minimal impact on homes and businesses.

"Irish Water have been liaising with farming representative groups to provide what practical support we can. Lowering the water pressure in Dublin is designed to save water without causing disruption to customers.”

“We have a long way to go. If the drought is prolonged, water restrictions would become unavoidable if demand does not continue to drop. Irish Water are appealing to the public to be continue to be mindful of their water usage," she said.

This comes hours after Irish Water said they are "operating on a knife edge."

Some 160 days of water is available for extraction from the Poulaphouca Reservoir in Co Wicklow. There should be 200 days available at this time of year.

Speaking on RTE Radio One's Morning Ireland, Irish Water General Manager Eamon Gallen said their conservation appeal is having an effect and he pleaded with customers to continue to conserve water usage. He encouraged people to refrain from watering their lawns, to be careful of running taps, to spend less time in the shower and to turn the tap off while they are brushing their teeth.

"We are confident we can get through this," Mr Gallen said.

"But if things get worse we will have to revise our thinking.

"We are monitoring it everyday and we are keeping track."

Mr Gallen said schools have been urged to turn off water, once they close for holidays, and he added that services like Dublin Bus have reduced their washing schedule for the buses.

He said that the water network in many areas of the country is not able to cope with extremes in weather.

  • Irish Water has provided information for how people can conserve water here

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