Irish Water have issued a National Water Conservation Order in a bid to safeguard the supply of water for essential purposes.
The hosepipe ban will be in place from Tuesday, June 9th, until Tuesday, July 21st.
Irish Water have stated that the increased demand, both domestically and commercially, is being exacerbated by warm weather and the widespread emergence of drought conditions.
Met Éireann have confirmed that May 2020 was the driest since 1850. Temperatures were above average in nearly all areas, according to their data, and rainfall totals in all counties were below average. The counties impacted the most were the Greater Dublin Area, Westmeath, Sligo and Tipperary.
Irish Water reported that of their 900 drinking water schemes, 27 are currently in drought while 50 more are at risk of going into drought. Current forecasts suggest that these drier than normal conditions will continue and amplify the problem further.
The amount of rainfall needed to replenish supplies varies around the country and is site specific. However, Irish Water estimate that a minimum accumulation of 100mm rainfall spread over a number of weeks would be required and normal rainfall levels after that before the threat to water sources would pass.
The conservation order prohibits the use of garden hoses and other non-essential uses of water by domestic users and commercial premises for non-commercial uses.
Demand vs supply
Niall Gleeson, Managing Director of Irish Water, said: “Irish Water’s top priority during the current dry period is to protect our water supply for use in homes and businesses and for essential sanitation during the Covid-19 crisis.”
“As demand continues to outstrip supply and the dry weather looks set to continue, Irish Water has taken the extra step of implementing a Water Conservation Order.”
Gleeson stated that Irish Water will continue to monitor the consumption levels while the hosepipe ban is in place in order to avoid restrictions and outages over the coming weeks and months.
“There are lots of helpful tips for conserving water on water.ie but the key messages are to leave the hose and the pressure washer in the shed; don’t use paddling pools; reuse household water for the garden; and take shorter showers.”
“Safeguarding the supply of water is essential at this time when handwashing and hygiene is of critical importance. We are calling on everyone to play their part,” he concluded.