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Dublin: 19 °C Saturday 8 August, 2020
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Hosepipe ban to remain in place despite recent bouts of rainfall, says Irish Water

The number of drinking water schemes in drought has risen since the ban was put in place.

Image: Shutterstock/topseller

THE HOSEPIPE BAN currently in place in Ireland will remain despite some heavy spells of rainfall since the ban was put in place earlier this month, Irish Water has said.

The number of drinking water schemes experiencing or in potential drought has also grown since 9 June when the Water Conservation Order (hosepipe ban) was introduced. 

Using water drawn through a hosepipe for things like watering a garden, cleaning a vehicle or filling a paddling pool is banned. People are asked to consider doing these activities using rainwater instead. 

“The need for the Water Conservation Order was due the exceptionally dry spring and the driest May since 1850 in some areas,” a spokesperson for Irish Water told TheJournal.ie. 

“Unfortunately short periods of rainfall, such as those we have experienced last week, are not sufficient to return raw water sources to normal levels.”

44 mm of rainfall was recorded in Phoenix Park by Met Éireann for the month of June up to the 18th. This is more than half of what was recorded last year in June. 

However, the rainfall levels in May at this station were just over one-quarter the levels in May 2019. 

Despite recent bouts of rainfall across the country, data from Met Éireann still indicated lower levels so far this month in a lot of counties compared to the same period last year. 

In the Markree Castle station in Sligo, the rainfall levels recorded in June up to the 18th are just over one-fifth the levels recorded in June 2019. 

The number of Irish Water drinking water schemes in states of drought has actually increased from 27 to 38 since the hosepipe ban was introduced on 8 June.

The number of schemes at risk of drought has also grown from 50 to 58. 

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Lifting the ban

A minimum accumulation of 100 mm of rainfall over a number of weeks and a return to normal rainfall levels after that is needed to offset the impact of the lack of rainfall since March.  

The situation with the Water Conservation Order (effective hosepipe ban) is under “continuous review” in liaison with Met Éireann, the Office of Public Works and other agencies, the Irish Water spokesperson said. 

“If the situation improves we will consider lifting the order, if the conditions do not improve or deteriorate we will have to consider extending the Water Conservation Order beyond 21 July,” they said.  

We are continuing to appeal to people to conserve water where they can and to comply with the Water Conservation Order to safeguard supplies for essential sanitation and handwashing.

More rainfall is expected over the next few days. Met Éireann has forecast that rain will develop in the west at around noon today before spreading eastwards throughout the afternoon and evening.

Some heavy bursts are expected, especially in the south.  

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