Water supplies are coming “under pressure” in several areas around Ireland, with the warm spell and hiked demand from holidaymakers threatening to further squeeze reservoirs, Irish Water is warning.
It is asking people to shorten showers, turn off taps and reuse bath water as the temperature reached over 29 degrees on Sunday, and is expected rise further today. While the utility has “no plans” at this stage to bring in restrictions, it has been forced to take action to protect supplies in areas in the south, west and midlands.
Parts of Co Cork and Co Tipperary, as well as Carron in Co Clare and Inis Oirr, Co Galway have already been identified as areas of concern, where Irish Water is “taking actions to manage and protect supplies at present”.
A number of rural areas have also begun to come under pressure, particularly in the south and midlands, according to Mary O’Hara, spokeswoman for Irish Water. “Areas are being closely monitored at this point,” she said.
In a statement the utility urged people to take “simple steps to conserve water and to avoid the need for restrictions later in the summer”.
“While the majority of water supplies are operating normally and there are no plans to introduce restrictions at this time, we expect to see an increase in demand for water over the coming weeks which may put pressure on some supplies,” it said.
“In particular at this time of year and with the rise in temperature popular holiday resorts are likely to experience higher than average demand.”
Among the measures being urged are for householders not to use garden hoses or power washers. Paddling pools and swimming pools use “huge volumes of water” and their use should be minimised, while any water poured into pools should be reused for gardening or car-washing.
The utility has also pleaded with customers to fix leaks where possible at home, and report any leaks in the network.
Tom Cuddy, Irish Water’s head of asset operations, said even small changes “can make a significant difference” in staving off general water restrictions. “We will continue to monitor the levels at all our supplies over the coming weeks and months, and take any actions that may be necessary to maintain supplies, including communicating about localised issues as they arise.”
A yellow weather advisory from Met Eireann came into effect on Sunday, when the highest temperature in the State was recorded at Dublin’s Phoenix Park at 29.3 degrees. The highest temperature of all time at this location was 30.6 degrees.
Mount Dillon, Co Roscommon, wasn’t far behind at 28.7 degrees, and Shannon Airport recorded 28.5 degrees as the country basked in sunshine.
The yellow weather advisory remains in place for the whole country again on Monday, when Met Éireann says “exceptionally warm weather will occur” with daytime temperatures of 25 to 30 degrees generally and possibly up to 32 degrees in places on Monday. Night time temperatures will range from 15 to 20 degrees.
On Tuesday the very warm weather will continue over Leinster, with daytime temperatures of 25 to 28 degrees. Wednesday is forecast to see an end to the very warm conditions as temperatures are expected to return to “more normal values” of 16 to 20 degrees.