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Warning of nationwide hosepipe ban as temperatures soar

Sixteen of Irish Water’s drinking water schemes are in drought, with 38 at risk of going into drought.

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A kitesurfer in the sea off Portmarnock Beach, Dublin (Brian Lawless/PA)

A kitesurfer in the sea off Portmarnock Beach, Dublin (Brian Lawless/PA)

A kitesurfer in the sea off Portmarnock Beach, Dublin (Brian Lawless/PA)

Irish Water has warned it is “highly likely” a hosepipe ban will be imposed nationwide as some water supplies are in drought conditions.

Yvonne Harris, head of customer operations at Irish Water, said demand for water has been soaring over recent weeks with the hot weather.

Sixteen of its drinking water schemes are in drought, with 38 at risk of going into drought.

Ms Harris said the Irish Water technical team is assessing the weekend’s data, adding that it is “highly likely” it will implement a Water Conservation Order.

“This is really about the protection of water supplies for consumption for our users,” she told RTE’s Morning Ireland.

She appealed to people to only use water for necessary reasons, including hand washing during the coronavirus pandemic.

Ms Harris said: “We find on really hot days that demand is soaring beyond any previous levels.

“Last Saturday when it was a very hot and sunny day in Dublin, we experienced an additional demand of 30 million litres of water – that would be the equivalent of an additional 200,000 people in Dublin.

“Our data is showing similar trends throughout the country.

“On very warm days, our behaviour around water usage is causing an unprecedented demand and we’re appealing to people to only use water for necessary activities.”

Irish Water is required to prove that there is deficiency in the water available for distribution before a decision is made to implement a Water Conservation Order.

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Crowds on Brittas Bay beach, Co Wicklow (Niall Carson/PA)

Crowds on Brittas Bay beach, Co Wicklow (Niall Carson/PA)

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Crowds on Brittas Bay beach, Co Wicklow (Niall Carson/PA)

“We have experienced very, very dry weather over recent weeks and months,” she added.

“April was the driest April for a number of years – the average summer rainfall will be between 15 to 16 millimetres per month.

“While we did have a bad winter, we had a very, very warm and dry spring.”

The warning comes as Met Eireann said temperatures will hit 27C in Leinster and Munster.

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