Friday 18 January 2019

Hosepipe ban still in operation

Margaret Roddy

The hosepipe ban introduced during the July heatwave is being extended until the end of September, Irish Water announced last week.

The water conservation measures will remain in place in Co Louth, as well as other parts of the country including neighbouring counties Meath and Dublin, until September 30th.

Irish Water said the decision was taken after considering 'detailed analysis of drinking water sources (river flows and lake levels) from engineering experts within Irish Water and the local authorities, including the hydrologist records of OPW and the ESB and future weather forecasts'.

'Irish Water is continuing to manage scarce resources in these areas with the local authorities and specialist contractors doing everything practical to reduce leaks, manage demands and maintain continuity of supply. Emergency work on upgrading borehole pumping plants, introducing new boreholes in some areas and deploying temporary weirs at critical river intakes are helping to maximise water available in these southern counties.'

Commenting on the extension of the Water Conservation Orders, Irish Water's General Manager, Eamon Gallon said; 'The 2018 drought conditions have demonstrated the vulnerability of many of our water supplies, notably in the south, east and midlands. Irish Water engineers and hydrological experts are working with experts from the EPA, OPW, ESB, local authorities and other agencies to monitor river flows and lake levels. We continue to liaise with Inland Fisheries Ireland regarding impacts of abstractions from rivers and lakes and wastewater discharges on fish life.

This information will be invaluable to the ongoing work of developing the medium and long term water supply strategies for the country. In the coming weeks, Irish Water will publish for public consultation, its draft methodology for assessment of sustainable abstractions as a key input to the National Water Resources Plan which will be finalised in the coming months.

The Argus