Tuesday 25 June 2019

After no rain for weeks, hosepipe ban extended to end of the month

Maria Pepper

A nationwide hosepipe ban imposed by Irish Water will remain in place until midnight on Tuesday, July 31, as the dry weather continues.

'We thank the public for their conservation efforts so far and we urge them to continue to conserve water to help protect water supplies now and over the coming months,' said a spokesperson.

Met Eireann confirmed that there has been little or no rain over the past 35 days and the average soil deficit is 60mm meaning that even if it did rain, no water would reach underground water sources for at least a week, as it will be absorbed by the ground first.

The weather forecaster said predictions show that no significant rainfall is likely for at least a further week, meaning deepening drought conditions.

The National Water Conservation Order, commonly referred to as a hosepipe ban, came into effect last Friday morning for all domestic public water supplies and commercial premises for non-commercial activities, for example watering gardens attached to a business premises.

High levels of sunlight mean that there is evaporation of water sources with the continuing drought conditions putting pressure on water levels in rivers, lakes and groundwater drops.

Meanwhile, demand for water has increased by an average 15% and this can't be sustained for any period of time, according to Irish Water.

'The Conservation Order has the potential to suppress any non-essential increases in demand during this period and prevent increased abstraction at a time when the raw water sources are at least able to support these volunes', said the spokesperson.

'Irish Water's top priority during the current dry period is to protect our water supply for use in homes and businesses in the coming weeks and months. As demand continues outstrip supply and the warm weather looks set to continue, Irish Water has taken the extra step to use the legal options open to us with Section 56 (16) of the Water Services Act 2007 allowing for an effective 'hosepipe ban'.

'We hope that introducing a hosepipe ban will make people more mindful of their responsibilities and the impact their water usage is having on their neighbours and communities', the spokesperson added.

The following uses are prohibited under the Water Conservation Order:

  • lFilling or maintaining a domestic swimming pool (except when using hand held containers filled directly from a tap).
  • Watering a garden.
  • Cleaning a private motor vehicle using a domestic hosepipe.
  • Cleaning a private leisure boat.
  • Filling or maintaining a domestic pond (excluding fish ponds).
  • Filling or maintaining an ornamental fountain (with the exception of use for commercial purposes).
  • Filling or replenishing an artificial pond, lake or similar application.

The hosepipe ban does not apply to private wells or private group water schemes.

New Ross Standard