Hosepipe ban to continue in 16 counties until end of September

Restriction lifted in west and northwest with supplies improving as drought period ends

Irish Water has extended its hosepipe ban until the end of September for 16 counties including Dublin, Cork and Limerick.  Photograph: Tom Honan/The Irish Times.

Irish Water has extended its hosepipe ban until the end of September for 16 counties including Dublin, Cork and Limerick. Photograph: Tom Honan/The Irish Times.

 

Irish Water has extended its hosepipe ban until the end of September for 16 counties including Dublin, Cork and Limerick.

However, residents of 10 counties in the west and northwest may again use domestic hosepipes for watering gardens, filling paddling pools and washing personal cars.

The ban was introduced in Dublin on July 2nd in response to a severe drought and was extended nationally on July 6th. It was provisionally introduced for at least a month and was then extended for the duration of August.

Following an assessment of water supplies on Tuesday the board of Irish Water lifted the hosepipe ban in counties Clare, Galway, Mayo, Sligo, Leitrim, Roscommon, Donegal, Longford, Cavan and Monaghan.

The conservation order remains in place in Dublin, Louth, Meath, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Offaly, Westmeath, Carlow, Wicklow, Wexford, Waterford, Cork, Kerry, Limerick and Tipperary.

The utility said it was “appealing to all customers to continue to conserve water” .

Slower rate

Water storage levels in Poulaphouca, Co Wicklow, one of the main sources for the capital, continued to fall in August, albeit at a slower rate than in July.

The utility firm said that based on the current storage levels, there was “a reasonable prospect” that supplies would be able to meet the region’s needs through the autumn.

However, it warned that in the event of an unusually dry September and October, reserves could fall to minimum levels meaning further restrictions would be needed.

Irish Water said that given the “critical reliance” of more than 1.6 million people and the region’s businesses on these resources, “we believe that the urgent focus on water conservation will be needed through the coming month”.

Specifically, the hosepipe ban prohibits use of water drawn through a hosepipe or similar for the purposes of watering a garden, cleaning a private motor-vehicle or leisure boat, filling or maintaining a domestic swimming or paddling pool, filling or maintaining a domestic pond (excluding fish ponds), filling or maintaining an ornamental fountain.

Conservation by householders and businesses, leakage management and night-time pressure management in the Greater Dublin Area have so far ensured there was “minimum service disruption” in the capital and its hinterland, according to Irish water.

The regional daily usage had been contained at about 550 million litres, the utility said.

Irish Water general manager, Eamon Gallen said the 2018 drought conditions had demonstrated “the vulnerability of many of our water supplies, notably in the south, east and midlands”.

In the south, the water supply remains critical, especially in Cork, Limerick and parts of Kerry. Irish Water says reports show that despite recent rainfall, water levels are either stable or continuing to fall.