Thunderstorms forecast for Leinster and parts of Munster on Tuesday

Irish Water says drought risk persists in many areas despite recent heavy rainfall

Met Éireann has forecast thunderstorms for Leinster and parts of Muster today and a yellow weather warning is in place. Image via Met.ie

Met Éireann has forecast thunderstorms for Leinster and parts of Muster today and a yellow weather warning is in place. Image via Met.ie

 

Met Éireann has issued a yellow weather warning for Tuesday with thunderstorms forecast for all of Leinster as well as Tipperary and Waterford. Severe downpours are expected with the prospect of some surface flooding between 7am and 9pm on Tuesday. Thunderstorms and hail are expected again in parts of east Munster and Leinster.

Meanwhile, the announcement of a six-week nationwide hosepipe ban has led to a significant reduction in water use in the Greater Dublin region, Irish Water has said, but the potential for drought remains in many areas.

Water usage has declined from an average of 615 million litres a day at the start of the month to 560 million litres a day at present. Irish Water said the drop-off may also be linked to the State experiencing cooler and wetter weather of late.

“Irish Water would like to thank the public for their cooperation and the efforts they have made to conserve water in their homes and gardens over the last week and to appeal to them to continue supporting us in safeguarding water for essential uses,” a spokeswoman for the utility firm said.

Irish Water said no further water restrictions were being planned at this stage but there was no prospect of the hosepipe ban being lifted as a result of heavy rain falling in some areas in recent days.

The announcement of a six-week nationwide hosepipe ban has led to a significant reduction in water use in the Greater Dublin region, Irish Water has said, but the potential for drought remains in many areas. File photograph: Gareth Fuller/PA.
The announcement of a six-week nationwide hosepipe ban has led to a significant reduction in water use in the Greater Dublin region, Irish Water has said, but the potential for drought remains in many areas. File photograph: Gareth Fuller/PA.

Drought

Irish Water has published a list stating that there are drought conditions or a potential for drought in 23 of the State’s 31 local authority areas.

The worst affected counties are Kerry and Limerick, which each have eight water schemes in drought. Laois and Mayo have seven schemes in drought and Galway has five.

Irish Water said on Monday that the drought conditions were so entrenched that the rain last week and expected rain this week would not replenish the reservoirs following the recent dry spell.

It said the number of schemes in drought has increased from 27 to 35 and the number at risk of drought has grown from 50 to 52 since the Water Conservation Order came into force a week ago.

Irish Water said a minimum accumulation of 100mm (the equivalent of four inches of rain) would be needed to make up for the lack of rainfall since March.

A spokeswoman said that “if the situation improves” Irish Water would consider lifting the hosepipe ban.

“However, any change is unlikely in the short term. We are continuing to appeal to people to conserve water where they can and to comply with the order to safeguard supplies for essential sanitation and handwashing,” she added.