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Spare capacity to be provided in cities

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Vartry Resevoir

Vartry Resevoir

Vartry Resevoir

Spare capacity of at least 10pc will be provided in our main towns and cities to help boost regional development, construction of new homes and prevent water shortages in the event of problems.

Irish Water says the amount of 'headroom', or extra capacity, will be 20pc above average daily consumption in the main cities of Dublin, Galway, Waterford, Cork and Limerick/Shannon, with at least 15pc provided to the regional gateways of Dundalk, Sligo, Letterkenny/Derry and Athlone/Tullamore/Mullingar. There will be at least 10pc in other towns.

Dublin City currently only has spare capacity of 2pc, which has resulted in supply being reduced on a number of occasions in recent years because there was not enough water being produced to meet demand.

The three significant disruptions since 2010 include exceptional water demand during the winter of 2010; an algal bloom on the Vartry Reservoir (pictured inset) in May 2013, and operational problems experienced with raw water chemistry at the Ballymore Eustace plant in late October 2013, a time when the Web Summit was being hosted in Dublin.

Irish Water said that in areas with significant investment in recent years, capacity was not a problem. In Waterford, there was about 30pc spare capacity.

Reducing leakage, linking water networks and upgrading plants would help produce the headroom needed.

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