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Dublin: 15 °C Thursday 13 August, 2020
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National hosepipe ban to kick in tomorrow and last until 21 July

The managing director of Irish Water said it is time to “get serious” about this issue.

A photo supplied by Irish Water showing dropping water levels in Bohernabreena in Dublin last Friday
A photo supplied by Irish Water showing dropping water levels in Bohernabreena in Dublin last Friday
Image: Naoise Culhane

Updated Jun 8th 2020, 9:11 AM

IRISH WATER HAS said that a national water conservation order – or a hosepipe ban – will come into effect tomorrow and remain in place until Tuesday 21 July.

It said the measure was being brought in as a bid to safeguard water supplies for essential purposes over the next few weeks.

The managing director of Irish Water said people need to take the ban seriously due to recent dry weather and increased pressure on water supplies in many areas. 

The use of water drawn through a hosepipe for the following purposes will be banned from tomorrow onwards:

  • Watering a garden
  • Cleaning a private motor vehicle using a domestic hosepipe
  • Cleaning a private leisure boat
  • Filling or maintaining a domestic swimming or paddling pool – except when using handheld containers filled directly from a tap
  • Filling or maintaining a domestic pond – excluding fish ponds
  • Filling or maintaining an ornamental fountain
  • Filling or replenishing an artificial pond, lake or similar

Speaking on RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland today, the managing director of Irish Water, Niall Gleeson, said people “need to get serious” about this issue. 

“The last three months, this spring has been one of the driest on record and the projections from Met Éireann is that the dry weather is going to continue,” he said.

Glesson added that this is on top of an increase in domestic usage from people being at home more often and increased usage from businesses returning as restrictions ease. 

The hosepipe ban is hoped to highlight the “need to stop using water for non-essential purposes” and instead reserve for essential use such as hygiene.

Increase

In May, the utility asked the public to conserve water after the latest data showed that people were using 20% more water each day at home compared to usage in February.

Last week, it warned that a hosepipe ban could come into effect after prolonged periods of dry weather had exacerbated the rising domestic demand for water.

The dry weather has depleted water levels, with 27 of Irish Water’s 900 drinking schemes in drought and a further 50 in risk of going into drought.

“The weather forecast is for a continuation of drier than normal conditions which will further exacerbate the situation,” it said.

Irish Water also said its data shows “dramatic spikes” in water usage on very sunny days. 

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“During the June Bank holiday, the exceptionally warm saw an equivalent daily increase of water usage for an additional 200,000 people being used in the Greater Dublin Area,” it said.

“This increase in demand was replicated across the country. Given the current pressures on the water sources, this level of demand cannot be accommodated in the coming weeks.”

It said that a minimum of 100 mm of rainfall spread over a number of weeks would be required to replenish water levels with normal rainfall levels needed after that.

Niall Glesson, managing director of Irish Water, said: “It is very clear from Irish Water’s data that that warm weather creates a surge in demand of water. Such weather brings people into their gardens and makes the use of hoses more likely.

Similarly with children confined to home, it can be tempting to use paddling pools etc, however, using a hosepipe for one hour is the equivalent of the daily water usage of an average family and this is evidently a non-essential use of water… It is essential that our water supply is protected if we are to avoid restrictions and outages over the coming weeks and months.

- With reporting by Orla Dwyer

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