Sunday 26 January 2020

Water restrictions to be introduced across Greater Dublin Area next week

Water restrictions in place from Monday
Water restrictions in place from Monday

Paul Melia

WATER restrictions will be introduced across Dublin, Kildare, Wicklow and parts of Meath next week.

Irish Water will tomorrow outline a series of planned night-time cut-offs which could impact on tens of thousands of households, but which it insists are needed to conserve water and allow supplies return to normal levels.

Restrictions are already in place across 14 counties, affecting 30 drinking water schemes.

But the decision to introduce restrictions across 800 so-called water supply zones in Dublin highlighted the extent of the shortage, it said.

“They’ve (engineers) been monitoring the ongoing situation. It’s because of the trend and the fact that the weather is not changing, the rain is not coming. Something else has to be done,” a source said.

Irish Water introduced hosepipe bans nationally earlier this month and urged the public to conserve water during the prolonged dry spell across the country.

The latest data shows demand across the Greater Dublin Area, which includes Dublin, Wicklow, Kildare and parts of Meath, stands at 568 million litres a day.

The system is capable of producing 610 million litres, and current demand is above ‘normal’ usage for this time of year.

Both the Environmental Protection Agency and Irish Water have warned that supplies of raw water in rivers, lakes and aquifers are below normal levels – which could result in shortages later this year.

Irish Water said the details of how restrictions would be put in place were being finalised, but that they were likely to be impact at night time, between midnight and 5am.

Most households have 24-hours storage in attic tanks, so shouldn’t be affected. However, there was a risk to properties at the edge of the network or on high ground.

“They’ll try and do a more minimal restriction. It could be midnight to 5am but it’s not decided yet, and then to constantly review it to see the impact on customers and how much water will be saved in the different areas. It looks like the final decision will be made tomorrow.

“There is absolutely no other option. This is the last resort,” they added.

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