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Dublin: 12 °C Saturday 22 September, 2018
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Dublin hosepipe ban in operation and bans in other areas to be announced

Anyone found in breach of the ban could potentially face a fine of €125.

Image: Shutterstock/siam.pukkato

Updated Jul 2nd 2018, 8:45 AM

A HOSEPIPE BAN is now in operation in the Greater Dublin Area as Irish Water makes an urgent appeal to the public to conserve water as much as possible.

This means activities such as watering gardens and washing cars are banned.

The ban is set to stay in place until 31 July, although it may need to be extended.

Irish Water has warned that further bans across the country will be announced in the coming week.

It’s expected that parts of Kilkenny, parts of Laois and parts of Limerick county will all  be designated for a hosepipe ban in the coming week.

People can be fined or prosecuted for wasting water, but that is not the approach the government plans on taking.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the best approach is to ask people to “do the right thing and be good citizens”.

However, anyone found in breach of the ban could potentially face a fine of €125.

Speaking on Morning Ireland on RTÉ Radio 1 the managing director of Irish Water Jerry Grant said, “The reality is we rely on community and peer pressure because we can’t enforce our way to proper water management.

“At the end of the day enforcement procedures are there and we have the powers to take action when there’s flagrant abuse of water but that’s all we can do.

“All of those powers are there and at the end of the day, we’ll use them when we have to but we don’t have the resources to police water use.

When it was put to Grant that Irish Water is depending on people “snitching on their neighbours”, he said: “Most people are law abiding and there is a strong community pressure here to conserve water because at the end of the day we’re talking about people losing supply of there isn’t responsible behaviour across the board.”

He added that the hosepipe ban was “ultimately about drawing people’s attention to the fact that this is now very critical.

It’s going to go on for weeks and months because the reality is water depletion in our rivers and lakes and our ground water is going to take weeks, and maybe months to recover.

“It’s really important that we conserve the water now and that we maintain that discipline in the months ahead.”

1976 drought 

The weather has been dry since late February this year with Met Éireann reporting that the level of rain that has fallen is on par with 1976 when a major drought was in place.

Two status yellow weather warnings remain in place – an advisory warning for the entire country as little or no rain is forecast over the coming weeks and a high temperature warning for Munster, Leinster, Cavan, Monaghan, Galway, Leitrim and Roscommon.

As it stands more than 100 water supplies are at risk due to high consumption.

Irish Water says water must be conserved to safeguard scarce water resources for the remainder of the summer and into the autumn.

The utility has 39 water supplies under night-time water restrictions. It’s also tankering water from larger schemes to top up reservoirs where levels are falling.

Grant said, “We’re working at the edge of what we can do to keep supplies going.

Not too many people have been cut off yet but that is coming unless we can get the demand back down to levels that are sustainable from the sources that we have.

Irish Water has a nationwide update on the water shortages available on its website.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of people were left without water in Kerry last night after a water main burst in the centre of Killarney.

Irish Water and Kerry County Council said they hoped supply would be restored this morning.

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