Belfast Telegraph

Republic considers fines for those who flout hose ban

By Paul Melia

Irish Water will decide tomorrow whether to ramp-up enforcement of a hosepipe ban in place across the Greater Dublin area.

The utility said while demand had dropped over the weekend, it needed to examine two days' records of 'normal' usage before deciding if it should appoint 'authorised officers' to issue on the spot fines of €125 (£111).

The company also said it was preparing to impose hosepipe bans in other parts of the country at risk of losing supply, but said a final decision should not be taken until the end of the week. Restrictions affecting thousands of customers are in place across 39 supplies, while more than 130 are at risk.

Corporate Affairs manager Kate Gannon said a crisis management team was now in place, and while demand was "moving in the right direction", it would prefer to encourage the public to conserve water rather than impose fines.

"When it next rains, it will start to help us but we need weeks of sustained rain," she said. "Because we've had this prolonged drought, it will take four to six days for the soil to recover before it (rainfall) gets into rivers and lakes. We'll need prolonged periods of rain for the sources nationally to recover."

Belfast Telegraph

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