Belfast Telegraph

Long-term water usage restrictions ‘unavoidable’ if warm weather continues

Irish Water was forced to take additional measures to protect supply as water usage continued to increase.

Irish Water has stated it is “very concerned” about the possibility of having to impose longer-term water restrictions due to this week’s heatwave.

The concerns were raised after it was announced that Thursday was Ireland’s hottest day since 1976.

The temperature hit 32 degrees at Shannon Airport, as the country continues into its third day of the heatwave.

The company has labelled the situation “critical” and says long-term restrictions will become unavoidable if the warm conditions continue into the autumn with lower-than-normal rainfall.

Irish Water was forced to take additional measures to protect supply as water usage continued to increase on Thursday.

The group’s Drought Management Team has been meeting daily to monitor water supplies and demand around the country.

One hundred water supply schemes around the country are now at risk, with 4,000 homes already impacted.

Customers in Kilkenny, Longford, Athlone, North Galway, Louth and Kerry have already experienced restricted water supply and outages in some cases.

Some areas in Cork, Wicklow, Limerick, Kilkenny, Carlow, Tipperary, Clare, Mayo, Sligo, Donegal, Galway, Roscommon, Laois, Limerick, Kerry, Waterford and Offaly have also been identified as being at risk.

The record level of summer consumption is also depleting raw water reserves needed for the coming months.

Every effort the public make to conserve water will help to minimise risk of supply loss to them and their community Irish Water's Corporate Affairs Manager Kate Gannon

Demand for water is increasing while levels in rivers and lakes are dropping, which means less water available to treat and supply to homes and businesses.

Irish Water’s Corporate Affairs Manager Kate Gannon said: “If the drought is prolonged, water restrictions would become unavoidable if demand does not continue to drop.

“Irish Water are appealing to the public to continue to be mindful of their water usage.

“Irish Water are also currently assessing all legal options open to us and how they could be implemented.

“The situation remains critical and we are continuing to seek the public’s help.

“Every effort the public make to conserve water will help to minimise risk of supply loss to them and their community.”

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