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Drought 'will get worse before it gets better' as low water levels revealed

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Vartry reservoir which supplies Wicklow and South Dublin. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Vartry reservoir which supplies Wicklow and South Dublin. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Vartry reservoir which supplies Wicklow and South Dublin. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Water levels in almost nine out of 10 rivers are running below normal as the extent of the drought is revealed.

An assessment carried out on the country's main water sources has found 86pc of rivers and 75pc of lakes have levels below normal for this time of year, along with 60pc of groundwater sites.

The percentage below normal tells just part of the story. In the case of rivers, 33pc are classified as running 'particularly low' while for lakes, the figure is 40pc.