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Dublin: 11 °C Tuesday 7 July, 2020

Sunshine causes problems for Ireland's water supply

Meanwhile, the Department of Agriculture has issued a warning about heat stress on farm animals and called for increased cull rates to minimise queuing times at abattoirs.

One little girl has fun in the water in Dublin.
One little girl has fun in the water in Dublin.
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AS WE ENJOY 99s, barbeques and water fights, local authorities across the country are beginning to fret about dwindling water supplies.

Water restrictions have already been implemented in some areas, while many councils have asked residents to be mindful of how they are consuming water.

Kerry County Council said the mid-county public water supply is “struggling to meet the increased demand” and announced night-time restrictions in the greater Firies and Milltown areas, as well as parts of Fossa. The rest of the county has been asked to conserve water and avoid unnecessary usage.

Similar restrictions were seen in Tipperary, with night-time shutdowns beginning at 9pm in some areas. A burst on the watermain network was also a contributing factor to the disruption, according to South Tipperary County Council.

Dublin City Council asked the public not to waste water, directing them to the website for more information about conservation.

In Cork, the County Council said there is a risk of water shortage because of the dry spell and appealed to consumers – particularly in the north and west of the county – to restrict usage to “essential purposes”. It also asked farmers to check drinking troughs to ensure that ballcocks have not been damaged due to high consumption levels by cattle. The local authority said it may curtail supply “from time to time” in the interest of water consumption.

The farming community has also received warnings from the Department of Agriculture about the risk of heat stress on their animals. The reminder, issued this morning, applies mostly to pigs and poultry while they are housed or transported.

All those in charge of animals on-farm and during transport are legally obliged to ensure that all necessary measures are taken to prevent any unnecessary suffering.

To minimise stress during high climatic temperatures, preventative steps should be taken to ensure that the animals can cope.  These include: increased frequency of inspection of animal behaviour, reduction in stocking density, provision of adequate ventilation, increased water supply and availability, provision of additional cooling mechanisms and shade from the sun. And, of course, sheep should be shorn without delay.

According to the Department, additional stand-by arrangements should be made with abattoirs to allow for increased cull rates to reduce stock densities and minimise queuing times for animals when they arrive.

Earlier: Temperatures to reach 30°C today…but Friday will be hotter

The truth: Suffering from hay fever in ‘this weather’

In pictures: Your time in the glorious sunshine…

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