Parts of Wicklow in hosepipe ban
Irish Water has introduced a hosepipe ban in the Greater Dublin region - including most of north and parts of east Wicklow.
After such a prolonged period of dry weather, Irish Water predicts that it will take weeks or even months before water levels are restored in rivers and lakes and for treated water levels to restore in reservoirs.
The Water Conservation Order for the Greater Dublin Area will remain in place until July 31 and covers Shankill, Bray, Enniskerry, Kilmacanogue, Greystones, Delgany, Kilcoole, Newtownmountkennedy, Newcastle, Ashford, Rathnew, Wicklow town and Glenealy.
The prohibited use will apply to the use of water drawn through a hose pipe for a number of purposes, including watering a garden with a hose or sprinkler or cleaning private vehicles.
The use of hose pipes is also banned for cleaning private leisure boats, filling or maintaining a domestic swimming or paddling pool, filling or maintaining a domestic pond, excluding fish ponds, or ornamental fountains, with the exception of use for commercial purposes.
It is also prohibited to use a hose to refill or replenish an artificial pond, excluding fish ponds.
People can still water their garden and plants using a watering can, and fill a paddling pool with buckets of water filled from the tap.
Decisions to extend the ban to other places are also likely. People can report anyone they see breaking the ban by reporting excessive use to the phone number 1850 278 278.
Irish Water is backing up these orders by increasing the number of call centre agents to take calls from the public and will follow up any reports. Someone deemed to have committed an offence can be fined €125, and prosecuted if they don't pay within 21 days.
Tips to help to conserve water include checking your home is leak free and doesn't have any dripping taps, cisterns or pipes. Don't let your tap run excessively, even when brushing your teeth, use showers instead of baths, spend less time in the shower as the average shower uses 7 litres of water per minute and always ensure your dishwasher and washing machines are fully loaded. A modern washing machine uses approximately 65 litres of water per cycle while a dishwasher uses 20 litres. By ensuring they are fully loaded, not only will you conserve water but you will also reduce your energy bills.