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Editorial: Water crisis demands a quicker fix

It is quite shocking to see people having to queue up for water in one of the wettest countries in Europe. And it's even more worrying to think the problem won't be rectified anytime soon.

It could be four months before the reservoirs in Dublin are returned to normal levels, but if the problem is that broken pipes will have to be replaced, the fear is that it could take even longer to be sorted.

In the meantime, people who are affected all over the country are facing real hardship, especially those with no water at all.

We are used to modern facilities like showers, dishwashers and washing machines, and living without them is especially difficult for those with young families, not to mention people who work long hours.

People have shown great fortitude so far in coping with the situation, and understand that the various councils are working flat out to try and sort out the problems.

But the sight of people in queues, with every manner of container they can lay their hands on, is a grim one. They are bringing saucepans, empty bottles and even plastic bags in a bid to collect water.

If this situation continues indefinitely, then the patience shown so far is bound to run out. The last thing anyone wants to do at the end of a hard day's work is join a queue to get water so that dinner can be made and children washed.

But everybody will want to see the elderly, the sick and our schools being prioritised where scarce water has to go around.

We had plenty of money during the boom times, but it appears we did not invest it in our water infrastructure. What a shame, because it may have prevented us being in such dire straits now.