Irish Water has today announced that the Water Conservation Order, more commonly known as the hosepipe ban, will be lifted nationwide.
The Water Conservation Order was issued on 9th June in a bid to safeguard water supplies for essential purposes, in particular for sanitation during the COVID-19 crisis.
Recent heavy rainfall and the recovery of sources has allowed the order to be lifted from 5pm today.
When the Water Conservation Order was issued, 27 of Irish Water’s 900 drinking water schemes were in drought with another 50 at risk of going into drought. Thereafter the situation deteriorated rapidly with the number of schemes in drought or at risk of drought peaking at 98.
Over the past couple of weeks there has been above average rainfall in many areas of the country.
Currently only 17 schemes remain in drought and a further 61 are at risk. While the overall numbers are trending downwards, the situation is not uniform across the country and the recovery of some sources is very fragile.
Commenting on the lifting of the Water Conservation Order, the Managing Director of Irish Water Niall Gleeson said, “Irish Water is continuing to monitor the affected water sources as their recovery is fragile and subject to change. We will continue to liaise with Met Eireann, the OPW, the EPA and other key stakeholders to discuss the impact of weather on our sources. Should we enter a spell of prolonged warm and dry weather, and if the sources go into drought again, we may need to reconsider and re-impose a Water Conservation Order. Safeguarding the water supply for homes and communities across the country is a critical priority for us.
“It is really important that members of the public develop good household habits at this time and conserve water, regardless of rainfall. Any non-essential use of water should be discouraged, whether we are in a drought or not.
“We would like to thank the public for their efforts in conserving water in their homes and gardens over the past number of weeks and to remember those good household habits should the good weather return. Thanks also to our large water users who have worked proactively with us to use water more efficiently in their businesses. We are grateful for their diligence at this time.”