Irish Water is appealing to the public to conserve water as a prolonged dry spell has been predicted by Met Éireann.
In several areas around the county where water supplies were already under pressure, warm weather has exacerbated this situation.
Irish Water’s Drought Management Team are monitoring water supplies and demand around the country on a daily basis. Already some areas in Athlone, Kilkenny and north Dublin have experienced outages and restrictions and areas in Donegal and Mullingar have been identified as being at risk.
In Donegal, a water conservation notice was issued for Tievebrack, Ballybun, Meenlougher, Alt, Belalt and the surrounding areas over the weekend as reservoir levels dropped. Water restrictions were put in place at nighttime in order to allow water levels to recover.
Demand for water is increasing nationwide while levels in rivers and lakes are dropping significantly which means that is there is less water available to treat and supply to homes and businesses. This year has seen extended dry spells and Met Éireann has compared this to 1976 when drought conditions were experienced across the country.
Customers are being asked to conserve water to minimise potential interruptions. Irish Water’s Corporate Affairs Manager, Kate Gannon said, “The top three measure that people can take are not using a hose to water the garden or wash cars; keeping paddling pools very shallow if they are being used; and taking short showers rather than baths.”
To help conserve water customers are being asked to report any leaks they see on the public network and to repair any private side leaks in their homes and businesses to help restore water levels in the network. Customers can report any public side leaks online at www.water.ie or by calling the customer care helpline 24/7 on 1850 278 278.
Irish Water has a number of tips to help customers conserve water including:
• 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
• Don’t forget to collect: Rainwater is excellent for your garden. Collect it in a water butt from your gutters but always make sure to securely cover the large container for safety.