Irish Water appealing to everyone to conserve water as drought conditions continues across the country and National Water Conservation Order Comes into effect
Driest June on record in the Phoenix Park since 1850 with Met Éireann forecasting drought conditions to continue for the foreseeable future
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
(Issued Friday, 6 July 2018) Irish Water is appealing to everyone to conserve water as drought conditions continue across the country. The National Water Conservation Order came into effect today at 8am and is currently in place until midnight on the 31 July 2018. Due to depleting water levels in rivers, lakes and ground water sources which supply our water treatment plants the scope of this Order is being kept under review.
It will take sustained rainfall over many weeks and even months to replenish raw water levels in rivers, lakes and groundwater sources and treated drinking water levels in our storage reservoirs. Irish Water will continue to analyse water consumption levels nationally over the weekend and early next week to assess demand for water with the National Water Conservation Order in place. At the same time, we are monitoring the continued fall in water levels in our sources.
Following this analysis we will review if any additional measures will need to be put in place next week to further conserve water. Our objective is to balance service levels now with the risks of future failure. The current average water consumption demand in the Greater Dublin Area is 580 million litres per day, though down on the peak levels last week and within the safe production capacity of the plants. We continue to model the future scenarios for our raw water reserves in the Liffey and to evaluate whether further reductions are needed to avoid greater shortages later in the year.
We have 81 water schemes at risk of drought and water restrictions are in place in a further 27 locations.
Speaking about the need for continued water conservation Irish Water’s Corporate Affairs Manager Kate Gannon said
“We are really grateful for the measures that people have taken to conserve water so far and we hope that the National Water Conservation Order (hosepipe ban) will continue to make people more mindful of their responsibilities and the impact their water usage is having on their neighbours and communities. We know that the vast majority of people are supporting the ban, though we have reports of around 40 incidents of hosepipe usage in contravention of it and we again appeal to those people to comply with these essential minimum measures to safeguard our water supplies.
“Our Drought Management team are meeting daily to assess and analyse water demand and consumption levels for every area in the country. As water levels continue to deplete in rivers and lakes and groundwater sources run dry, we will assess if further restrictions are required to help protect water supplies now and for the months ahead. Met Éireann has forecast that high temperatures will remain for the foreseeable future and this highlights the need for everyone to play their part and conserve water as much as possible, to follow our advice and tips and to comply with the Water Conservation Order in place.”
Irish Water issues National Water Conservation Order commonly referred to as a hosepipe ban from 8am on Friday, 6 July to midnight on Tuesday 31 July as a drought continues across the country
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
Met Éireannadvised that there has been little or no rain over the last 30 days, with an average soil moisture deficit of 60mm meaning even if it did rain, no water would reach our water sources for at least a week, as it will be absorbed by the ground
(Statement below issued by Irish Water, Wednesday, 4 July 2018)
Irish Water has confirmed that a National Water Conservation Ordercommonly referred to as a hosepipe ban will be in place from 8am on Friday, 6 July until midnight on Tuesday, 31 July 2018 for all domestic public water supplies and commercial premises for non-commercial activities e.g. watering gardens attached to a business premises. The scope of this Order is the same as the one applied to the Greater Dublin Area (GDA) on Monday, 2 July 2018. Irish Water may review the scope of both over the coming weeks.
The order has been issued due to the continued drought conditions and to help protect water supplies now and over the coming months. Met Éireann has advised that there has been little or no rain over the last 30 days and predictions show no significant rainfall is likely for at least a further week, meaning deepening drought conditions.
High levels of sunlight means significant evaporation levels on water sources. The average soil moisture deficit is currently 60mm nationally which means even if it did rain, no water would reach our water sources as it would be absorbed by the ground. The continuation of these drought conditions nationally is putting pressure on water sources as rivers, lakes and groundwater levels drop.
On average demand across all water resources nationally has increased by 15%, and given the environmental pressures on the aquifers and waterbodies, this cannot be sustained for any period of time. Due to soil moisture conditions, smaller groundwater sites in particular may take many months to recover. The National Water 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 least able to support these volumes.Irish Water thanks the public for their conservation efforts to date and we continue to encourage and support the public in their efforts to reduce usage. We are grateful for all measures that have been taken in homes and businesses.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 to 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. Section 56 (16) of the Water Services Act 2007 allows for an effective ‘hosepipe ban’.The Water Conservation Order (hosepipe ban) will be in place until midnight on Tuesday, 31 July for domestic users and for non-commercial use by commercial bodies. Irish Water will keep the situation under review and may have to extend the period of time the order is in place.
Water Conservation Order
The prohibited uses are as follows:
Use of water drawn through a hosepipe or similar apparatus for the purpose of –
i watering a garden
ii cleaning a private motor-vehicle using a domestic hosepipe
iii cleaning a private leisure boat
iv filling or maintaining a domestic swimming or paddling pool (except when using hand held containers filled directly from a tap)
v filling or maintaining a domestic pond (excluding fish ponds)
vi filling or maintaining an ornamental fountain (with the exception of such use for commercial purposes)
vii filling or replenishing an artificial pond, lake or similar application.
This prohibition will apply from 8am on Friday, 6 July 2018 until midnight 31 July 2018.
The Irish Water Conservation Order (hosepipe ban) does not apply to private wells or private group water schemes. Working with the National Federation of Group Water Schemes we urge all water users to conserve water during this drought period and over the coming months to protect all water supplies.
Speaking about the legal move, Irish Water’s Corporate Affairs Manager Kate Gannon said:
“Imposing a national Water Conservation Order (hosepipe ban) reflects the serious need for water conservation now and over the coming months. It is essential that our water supply resources are conserved to help avoid further restrictions and outages over the coming weeks and months.
“We are really grateful for the measures that people have taken to conserve water so far and we hope that placing a Water Conservation Order (hosepipe ban) will make people more mindful of their responsibilities and the impact their water usage is having on their neighbours and communities.
“Irish Water is mindful of the impact that a Water Conservation Order might have on businesses and the tourist industry and for that reason the prohibition is mainly limited to domestic users but does include commercial premises for non-commercial activities e.g. watering gardens attached to a business premises.
“The utility continues to be in touch with large commercial users who have committed to conserving water and we are very grateful to them for their efforts. We are also appealing to them to limit all non-essential water use and to avoid using hosepipes or power washers where possible, particularly if it is for cosmetic reasons.”
Notice of legal declaration
Owing to the likelihood of a serious deficiency of water available for distribution, Irish Water intends to make an Order under section 56(16) of the Water Services Act 2007 (as amended) prohibiting certain types of water usage which will take effect on a national basis. The proposed Order will apply to all parts of the country that were not already covered by the first Order made on 2 July 2018 which applied only to the Greater Dublin Water Supply Area.
Once the proposed order becomes effective the whole country will be subject to the same prohibitions in relation to water usage.
East and Midlands
In Athlone, restrictions will not be imposed tonight (Wednesday 4 July) but are planned for the night of Thursday, 5 July to maintain supply as there is a difficulty maintaining treated water levels in the Annagh Reservoir due to very high demand from customers. Conservation measures by the public, night time restriction imposed over the last week and leak repair activity has helped to reduce the number of restrictions, but the water treatment plant continues to work to its limit. These restrictions, when they occur, impact approximately 8,000 people on the eastern side of the town.
Dunkerrin public water supply- Leakage repair crews repaired a leak on the Lisduff water main on Friday which has reduced demand slightly. However to help increase levels in the reservoir restrictions remain in place for 150 customers in Lisduff Co. Tipperary who are supplied by Dunkerrin public water supply. These restrictions will continue every second night until further notice.
In Clogherhead and Termonfeckin planned water restrictions will be imposed tonight from 11pm to 7am and considered for reminder of the week based on daily demand trends. Night-time water restriction in place tonight should leave enough in storage so that further water restrictions may not be necessary until Monday night.
In the Granard in the Granardkill area which is served by Moatfield reservoir from Lough Kinale Water Treatment Plant intermittent supply is continuing to impact approximately 200 people. Overnight we are seeing some recovery to reservoir levels and customers are receiving intermittent supply.
A water standpipe facility providing water for farmers and other business users in the Granardkill area is located beside the bottle bank facility at the rear of Granard Garda Station. It will be manned twice daily in the mornings from 11am to 12pm and evenings 8 pm to 9 pm. For domestic water users in the Granardkill area three static water tankers are available all day, these are located adjacent to Granarddkill Old Cemetery.
In order to preserve reservoir levels (Cairn Hill) which is supplied by Smear Water Treatment Plant night time restrictions (11pm-6am) will continue over the weekend impacting around 500 people.
Water levels in the aquifer supplying the Portlaoise Water Supply Schemeare reducing but current demand from customers is being met. No restrictions are planned tonight.
In the Laois South East Regional Supply – The source of this supply is Kyle Spring. Ballyadams, Crannagh, Ballylinan and Pedigree are experiencing lower pressures since Sunday due to necessary supply restrictions to the local service reservoir but not the customers. The treatment capacity of the plant is approximately 2500m3 per day. For the past 10 days demand has been outstripping supply by 180m3 per day. This has resulted in the main reservoir at Gallow Hill being almost depleted. We are managing storage within the network in order to minimise impact to customers. Irish Water are asking customers to conserve water as much as possible.
The Swan Water Treatment Plant is on nightly restrictions impacting approximately 1,500 people. Irish Water continue to impose nightly planned water outages from 10 pm to 6 am to allow treated water levels in Wolfhill Reservoir to recover. This water restriction will impact customers in The Swan, Wolfhill, Mayo and Doonane Co. Laois. Four static water tankers are in place throughout the network for public use. An additional tanker was made available from Monday morning for supply for farm animals only. It is hoped that this will reduce agricultural demand on the water supply scheme.
In Portarlington – a number of areas are experiencing intermittent supply and/or low water pressure due to low borehole levels
The Ballinasloe Water Treatment Plant is operating at full capacity and reservoir levels are giving major cause for concern. Supplementary pumps have been deployed due to low water levels in the River Suck, which are decreasing at a significant rate. Customers in Ballinasloe, Laurencetown, Eyrecourt and Kiltormer are urged to reduce water usagein every way possible to ensure a continuous supply for all.
Night time restrictions on Inis Mór and Inis Oirr will be extended from 8pm to 8am daily commencing on Friday, July 6. Water usage on Inis Mór has increased by 30 per cent in the past 21 days and reservoir levels are giving cause for very serious concern.
Water consumption on Inis Oirr and Inis Meain has increased by 30 per cent in the past two weeks and Irish Water is urging customers to increase their efforts to conserve water on all of the Aran Islands.
Restrictions remain in place on the Ballyconneely Water Treatment Plant serving the Ballyconneely and Foreglass areas from 11pm to 7am for the foreseeable future. This is because demand on this scheme is now exceeding supply.
Demand in Tír na Fhía/Leitir Mór has increased significantly and some areas are experiencing outages. Supply from the Tír na Fhía Water Treatment Plant is higher than can be sustained and leak repairs have been carried out in recent days.
Customers in Clarinbridge, Kilcolgan, Roveagh, Ballinderreen and Tyrone Group Water Scheme are urged to conserve water. Work has been carried out at Clarenbridge Water Tower to improve the supply situation in the short term but consumption is still very high.
Customers in Gort are also urged to conserve water as raw water levels in the Gort River are dropping.
Groundwater springs and boreholes supplying Dunmore/Glenamaddy, Kilkerrin/Moylough, Ballygar, Mountbellew and Ballymoe are extremely low and are a cause for serious concern.
Due to very high demand in areas supplied by Tonabrocky reservoir, Irish Water has no choice but to restrict water supply at night time between the hours of 11pm and 7am.
Barna, Moycullen, Knocknacarra, Kingston, Taylor’s Hill, Letteragh Road, Bishop O’Donnell Road, Clybaun Road, Cappagh Road, Ballymoneen Road (areas north of Western Distributor Road) may experience low pressure and reduced flow at night time.
These restrictions are essential to allow the Tonabrocky reservoir storage levels to recover and will remain in place at night time until further notice.
Water conservation appeal
Irish Water is appealing to the Galway public, particularly people working and living in Dunmore/Glenamaddy, Kilkerrin/Moylough, Ballygar, Ballymoe, Williamstown, Tuam, Athenry, Oranmore, Tir an Fhia, Leitir Mór, Tully, Letterfrack, Leitir Mór, Carraroe, Ballinasloe and Galway City to conserve water while the prolonged dry spell that has been predicted by Met Éireann, continues.
Night time restrictions have been imposed on the Pettigo water supply from 11pm until 7am. This will continue for the foreseeable future and both Irish Water and Donegal County Council will continue to monitor the scheme carefully.
The Lough Mourne and Inisowen water supplies are still classified as at-risk and customers supplied from these schemes are asked to be especially mindful of their water consumption at this critical time.
In Limerick night time restrictions from 12 midnight until 6am continue in Pallasgreen, Herbertstow, Knocklong, Hospital and Oola.
Kilkenny restrictions from 10pm to 6am are in place in Bennettsbridge, Dunamaggin, Kells, Danesfort, Ballyhale, Knocktopher and surrounding areas.
In Cork the following areas have night time restrictions from 11pm to 7am – Inniscarra, Clonakilty and Kilbrin.
Restrictions in Tipperary continue nightly in Coolbawn from 12 midnight until 6am.
In Waterford there are night time restrictions in the Old Parish Loskeran scheme from midnight until 6am daily.
In Kerry the Caherdaniel supply is on a night time restriction from 12 midnight until 6am.
In Carlow the following areas are on night time restrictions from 10pm until 6am Ballon, Fenagh, Myshall, Kildavin, Newtown, Garryhill, Clonegal & surrounding areas.
In Co Clare there are restrictions in the following areas from 10pm until 6am daily – Lahinch, Lisdoonvarna, Doolin, Liscannor, Ballagh-Cahersherkin (Ennistymon), Kilfenora, and surrounding Group Water Supply schemes.
Tips to help you conserve water
• Leak free: Check that your home is leak free. Check for running overflows and fix any dripping taps, cisterns or pipes
• Don’t let the tap run: Brushing your teeth with the tap running can use up to a staggering 6 litres per minute. Brushing your teeth with the tap off will use a more modest 1 litre of water
• Shower vs. Bath:The average bath uses 80 litres of water compared to an average shower using 49 litres in seven minutes. Switch your bath to a shower for a massive water saving
• Less time: With the average shower using 7 litres of water per minute by turning your five minute shower into four minutes, you could save up to 7 litres of water per day!
• Fully loaded: 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
• Don’t flush it all away:A third of all water used in the home is flushed down the toilet. Some larger cisterns can continue to work effectively with a smaller flush. Place a displacement device into the cistern (out of the way of moving parts) to save water
Irish Water is also developing the National Water Resources Plan on how we can provide a safe secure and reliable water supply to our customers for the next 25 years. This will set out how we will maintain the supply and demand of drinking water over the short medium and long term. This national plan will ensure the best use of water resources for the benefit of all our customers. For more information please see water.ie/nwrp