Irish Water lifts hosepipe ban following heavy rain
The ban imposed after period of drought was expected to remain in place until July 21st
Irish Water’s hosepipe ban will be lifted later today. Photograph: Getty Images
Irish Water will later today lift the hosepipe ban put in place during recent drought conditions following heavy rainfall and improving ground water conditions.
The utility imposed the conservation order on June 9th, and it was expected to remain in place until July 21st. The order was put in place to “safeguard” water for essential purposes in light of the unseasonably dry weather.
Met Éireann confirmed that May 2020 was the driest since 1850 and continued dry weather was forecast when the ban was put in place.
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.
However, above average rainfall in many areas of the country has improved water supply and has resulted in the recovery of some of the water supplies that were in drought or at risk of drought.
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, Irish Water said.
Following a review of Irish Water data together with the latest information from Met Éireann, the Office of Public Works and the Environmental Protection Agency, the utility announced it will remove the water conservation order from 5pm today, Wednesday July 8th.
Niall Gleeson, managing director of Irish Water, said the utility is continuing to monitor the affected water sources as their recovery is “fragile and subject to change”.
“We will continue to liaise with Met Éireann, 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,” he said.
He added that safeguarding the water supply for homes and communities across the country is a “critical priority for us”.
Mr Gleeson said that despite the ban being lifted, non-essential use of water should be discouraged.
“It is really important that members of the public develop good household habits at this time and conserve water, regardless of rainfall.”
He thanked the public for their efforts in conserving water in recent weeks.