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Dublin: 8 °C Monday 6 April, 2020

Supermarkets as far south as Dublin are being cleared out of water as shortage enters sixth day

Retailers are struggling to keep up with demand.

Residents fill up from a water truck in a supermarket car park in Ratoath, Co Meath.
Residents fill up from a water truck in a supermarket car park in Ratoath, Co Meath.
Image: Eamonn Farrell/

THE WATER SHORTAGE that has left thousands of people without running water in Louth and east Meath has had a knock-on effect in parts of north Dublin.

Stocks of bottled water in major retailers are being stretched and stores are having to order increased supply to cater for people travelling from outside Dublin for water.

Lidl is among the retailers who say they’ve been forced to increase supply to cater for people along commuter routes who’ve been stocking up on supplies of still water.

The shortage has stemmed from a burst main near Drogheda that has seen around 70,000 people without water since Friday.

Irish Water has said that the water supply in some areas may not return to normal until this coming weekend and 35 water tankers have been deployed to supplement the shortage.

But locals have been attempting to cope with the shortage in other ways, among them stocking up on bottled water. This has led to empty shelves in some local stores and people travelling from further afield only to find that stocks have been depleted as far as Dublin.

Ashbourne resident Joey Kavanagh explains that he checked three stores and drove to Dublin before getting bottled water:

My sister texted me and said there’s no water in the taps and so I said I’ll pick up some bottled water from Aldi when I get to Ashbourne. When I went into the shop in Ashbourne there was no still water at all. And my sister had heard there was none in Lidl either so we just figured there’d be none in any of the shops.

“So we got in the car and drove to Finglas and got to Lidl and again we went inside expecting there’d be water and there was none, there was just sparkling water. All the still bottles of water were gone. Then we drove on to Tesco Clearwater and there was a supply of water that was quite depleted but we managed to get some bottles. So we actually stocked up and got 63 litres.”

The water shortage has even led to reports of some stores limiting the amount of water each customer can buy in order to ration the available stock.

Asked about what steps are being taken to meet the increased demand, Lidl confirmed it has bumped up its orders of bottled water from suppliers.

“We are working closely with our suppliers to ensure increased daily deliveries of bottled water to our two stores in Drogheda and surrounding areas. In order to meet this demand, the increased delivery of water to our stores  will continue until water supply in the area resumes to normal,” the company said in a statement.

Read: Irish Water warns Drogheda water shortage may not be fixed until the weekend >

Read: Around 70,000 people could be left without water until the weekend >

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About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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