| 10.6°C Dublin

'Tell on your water waster neighbours' - Warning to householders as Met Éireann issues Status Yellow drought warning

  • Met Éireann issued a Status Yellow drought warning this morning
  • Status Yellow high temperature warning in place until 10pm tonight


Henry Larkin (11) and Sebastian Lagace (11) jump into a river in Birr. Photo:Mark Condren

Henry Larkin (11) and Sebastian Lagace (11) jump into a river in Birr. Photo:Mark Condren

Henry Larkin (11) and Sebastian Lagace (11) jump into a river in Birr. Photo:Mark Condren

Householders will be urged to report their neighbours for wasting water, if the drought caused by the heatwave continues.

Irish Water has imposed a month-long hosepipe ban for washing cars, filling paddling pools or watering the garden across the Greater Dublin Area from Monday.

Those who flout the hosepipe ban will be subject to a fine of €125. Irish Water will monitor usage this weekend, and if it has not dropped it will consider a range of enforcement options.

This includes opening a dedicated phone line where the public can report persistent offenders, corporate affairs manager Kate Gannon said.

She said it could also appoint ‘authorised officers’ to investigate complaints and impose fines.

“The first thing we’re hoping is by virtue of putting out the water conservation order, it will heighten awareness,” she said.

“It’s not saying ‘please don’t do it’, we’re saying ‘do not do it’. There is provision to appoint authorised persons, and we will look at that over the weekend.

“We’ll be monitoring usage over the period to see the impact. We’re trying to give a measured response.”

Official figures show that some 7,700 households use 16pc of all domestic water consumed, averaging 6,000 litres per household. Many of these homeowners would have been contacted by Irish Water in the past, and offered the opportunity to avail of a free leak repair that would save water, but many refused to engage.

Meanwhile, Met Éireann issued a Status Yellow drought warning at 11am this morning.

It will remain in place until midnight, July 6.

"Drought or near-drought conditions will persist through the coming week," the national forecaster said.

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Water restrictions have been imposed in 28 areas across Waterford, Galway, Kerry, Westmeath and Offaly, and another 128 areas across 14 other counties are at risk of restrictions being imposed.

In these areas, homes that use the most water will be contacted by Irish Water.

“We have identified the top tier of usage of what we believe to be a leak on someone’s property,” Ms Gannon said. “Our intention is to contact the individuals contacted under the first fix programme. We do have separate powers to approach a business or homeowner. Obviously we want to work with customers, but we do have enforcement powers to enter a property.”

Some 610 million litres can be produced in the Greater Dublin Area, with consumption at 607 million litres, up to 6pc above normal demand.

The hosepipe ban will be in place until July 31, but could be extended, and may be applied in other at-risk areas. It bans the use of hosepipes to water a garden, clean a car or boat and fill a swimming or paddling pool. However, a watering can filled from the tap can be used. It also applies to filling or maintaining a domestic or artificial pond, excluding fish ponds.