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Dublin: 8 °C Tuesday 13 November, 2018

Water pressure may be reduced next week as risk of shortage extends into September

Minister Eoghan Murphy said the current level of rain “is nowhere near what we need”.

Minister Eoghan Murphy issued the latest water warning this evening.
Minister Eoghan Murphy issued the latest water warning this evening.

HOUSING MINISTER EOGHAN Murphy has warned that there is a risk of significant water shortages well into the autumn if there isn’t significant rainfall soon.

The minister also said that lowering water pressure at night time is under consideration, to ease the pressure on the already-under pressure water supplies.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio One’s Drivetime programme, the Fine Gael TD said that he was “very concerned” about low water stocks.

Although rain returned to parts of Ireland today, Irish Water has repeatedly warned that demand on its supply during the hot weather has depleted its reserves.

A hosepipe ban was introduced nationwide for the whole of this month, and Minister Murphy said today it is possible that may continue into August.

“The level of rain is nowhere near what we need to replenish our lakes and reservoirs,” he said.

There is a risk of shortages as we look ahead to September.

While Murphy said he didn’t want such severe restrictions put in place, “we will later this week be considering the possibility of lowering pressure at night-time sometime next week”, with the forecast for mostly dry weather persisting.

During the heatwave , the demand for water increased by 15%, according to the water utility.

“We are really grateful for the measures that people have taken to conserve water so far,” Iris Water spokesperson Kate Gannon said last week.

“We hope that placing a Water Conservation Order (hosepipe ban) will make people more mindful of their responsibilities and the impact their water usage is having on their neighbours and communities.”

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Sean Murray

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