Night time water restrictions to be introduced in Dublin area
Eoghan Murphy calls on TDs not to blame Irish Water as drought conditions continue
Irish Water is to introduce the restrictions in the greater Dublin area from midnight to 5 am on Monday, July 16th.
Night time water restrictions in the greater Dublin area will be introduced as early as next week to protect future supply and avoid widespread outages in the autumn.
Irish Water and the local authorities are working through more than 800 district meter areas to establish where water supplies can be restricted and for how long while minimising the impact to homes and businesses.
“At this point, Irish Water is to introduce the restrictions in the greater Dublin area from midnight to 5am on Monday, July 16th but the final decision will be made tomorrow,” an Irish Water spokeswoman said.
There are more than 20 schemes across the country already on restrictions.
Irish Water corporate affairs manager Kate Gannon said introducing restrictions was an option that Irish Water hoped could be avoided because of the inevitable impact on homes and businesses.
She said positive conservation measures were being taken by the public in Dublin, Kildare, Wicklow and Meath.
The development came as Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy told the Dáil that water levels were at an all-time low in some parts of the country.
He said that of 1,000 water supply systems controlled by Irish Water, nine schemes are currently experiencing severe drought, 51 are in drought condition and a further 77 are in potential drought situations.
Mr Murphy said reports “indicate that a significant number of recent wild land fires were caused by careless discarding of matches and cigarette ends”. He said that as the drought continues, flammable conditions for fire will remain.
“This underlines the need for care to prevent wild land fires from starting.”
Mr Murphy was speaking during a debate on the urgent need for water conservation due to the current prolonged period without rain.
The Minister said that providing water for the longer term was the overriding concern and Irish Water was considering restricting supplies as it had to plan for September and October.
He also called on TDs not to blame Irish Water for the country’s legacy problems as things get worse, adding that “they will get worse”.
“It is managing the situation better than anyone else could to date,” he said. “We now have information, technology and oversight that we would never had if 31 or 34 local authorities were trying to manage that between themselves.”
He added that “Irish Water did not break the pipes or under-invest over the decades. It inherited the system and it is fixing it.”
Sinn Féin housing spokesman Eoin Ó Broin said the State is the single biggest waster of water.
“Some 36 per cent of water in the greater Dublin water supply area is lost in the distribution system.”