Water rationing urged as supplies fall in heatwave
WATER supplies are at seriously low levels after weeks of dry weather in some counties.
The June heatwave has left many authorities struggling with shortages, with some forced to impose restrictions on usage.
Forecasters warned there would be little respite in the coming days, with only scattered showers expected.
"There will be some showers in the west over the weekend but not very heavy ones, and temperatures will be in the high teens," Deirdre Lowe of Met Eireann said.
"We will have to wait until later next week, which looks like being very unsettled."
Donegal, Sligo and Fingal in north Co Dublin have all reported severely depleted supplies, with residents throughout the capital asked to reduce water consumption by 10pc.
In Co Galway, water tankers have been deployed on Inis Mor on the Aran Islands to help people cope with the shortage.
Other badly-hit counties include Kerry, Offaly, Leitrim and Roscommon.
In Co Clare, officials warned of more extensive rationing and cut-offs if sufficient levels of rain did not fall. David Timlin, Clare Co Co's director of services said rain during the first half of 2010 had been unusually low.
"As this trend continues, levels of lakes and groundwater are now getting very low, impacting directly on water supply sources," he added.
"In the meantime, we are asking landowners and public and business consumers to use water as sparingly as possible."
Homeowners and businesses in the worst-affected areas have been urged to minimise their water usage, avoid switching on hosepipes and check for faulty plumbing.
A spokesman for Sligo County Council said people should take all possible measures to conserve water.
"Intermittent rainfall will not significantly improve the situation during this prolonged dry period," he said.
"Under the Water Services Act 2007, local authorities are authorised to prohibit the use of water for certain purposes and failure to comply can result in arrest, prosecution and fines."