Water consumption rates highest in affluent areas of Dublin

Kerry and Tipperary were found to be the joint highest users of water, outside of Dublin

The highest rates of domestic water consumption in Dublin are generally recorded in the most affluent suburbs while the lowest are in less well-off neighbourhoods.

As pressure mounts on households to turn off hoses, resist the temptation to wash windows and cars, and generally exercise good judgment in water use, official figures from metered domestic water supply give an insight into exactly where and how water is used.

According to the Central Statistics Offices (CSO), which published domestic metered water consumption rates in 2015, the highest average daily rate in the capital was found in Dublin 6, where 488 litres were used per person, compared with an average usage of 373 litres across Dublin as a whole.

Areas in Dublin 6 include Milltown, Ranelagh, Rathmines and Rathgar, among the most expensive residential areas bordering the city.


The second-highest rate of water use (459 litres per day on average) was found in the Dublin 4 area, including Ballsbridge and Donnybrook, while the third highest, Dublin 13, is the post code for Howth, Sutton, Baldoyle and Donaghmede on the north side of the city (444 litres).

Lowest rates

By comparison, the lowest rates, outside the city centre, were in less well-off neighbourhoods. The lowest domestic consumption pattern for metered supply was recorded as Dublin 20, which had an average daily rate of 290 litres. Dublin 20 includes Chapelizod and Palmerstown.

Areas such as Bluebell, Crumlin, Drimnagh and Walkinstown, in Dublin 12, had the second-lowest consumption rate at 314 litres, and in third at 337 litres was Dublin 5 which includes Artane, Coolock and Kilbarrack.

Older homes in older parts of Dublin would likely have more leaks. Water use is also affected by the size of gardens and lifestyle factors.

In 2015, there was also the potential for self-imposed limitations given the potential charges coming down the line for consumption.

On a national level, the average monthly metered water consumption rate stood at 383 litres.

Outside Dublin

With Dublin split into city and postal code areas, counties Kerry and Tipperary were found to be the joint highest users of water (430 litres), followed by Cork (427 litres) and Longford (424 litres).

The lowest using counties were found to be Cavan (313 litres), Wexford (330 litres) and Monaghan (332 litres).

The nationwide daily average use was 383 litres.

Just 0.3 per cent of customers accounted for 12 per cent of the total water usage. That figure is almost certainly the product of leaks in the system.

While the CSO has requested 2016 and 2017 data from Irish Water, none has yet been made available.

Comparative data would give valuable insight into consumption and supply patterns over the past three years.

It would help show exactly how beneficial water metres are in detecting and addressing leaks in domestic supply, as repair works in certain areas would be expected to lead to a reduction in litre consumption over a period of time.

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard is a reporter with The Irish Times