Irish Water confirmed a nationwide ban on hosepipe usage on Friday, July 6, due to a rise in demand on water services since the start of the heatwave. The ban is set to be in place until Tuesday, July 31.
The company has the power, under section 56 of the Water Services Act 2007 to implement the ban, which was initially authorised in the Greater Dublin area on July 2nd. The ban forbids the use of water for:
· Cleaning a vehicle
· Filling or maintaining a domestic swimming/paddling pool
· Filling ponds (excluding fish ponds)
· Filling an ornamental fountain.
A fine of €125 will be faced by those are in breach of the conditions. As of Friday, July 6th, Irish water has received 40 complaints of individuals failing to comply. From June 28, Irish Water began to lower water levels in the Greater Dublin area to the minimum level at night.
The General Manager for Irish Water, Eamon Gallen had said in recent weeks that Dublin’s Water Supply “is not resilient to stand up to hot weather.”
“We hope that placing a Water Conservation Order [hosepipe ban] will make people more mindful of their responsibilities and will impact water usage is having on their neighbours and communities,” Kate Gannon, a spokesperson for the company said.
Prior to the nationwide hosepipe ban, up to 4,000 consumers experienced restrictions in water supply across Kilkenny, Longford, Athlone, north Galway, Louth, Cork, and Kerry.
Alan Farrell of Fine Gael said in the Dáil that the public have “to be responsible” and “cut-back” on their water usage at times when there are shortages.
Ballyhooly, a village in Co. Cork was noted for being one of the worst affected areas. The village already experiences “sporadic” water supply year-round, however, the problem has been exacerbated since the soaring rise in temperatures. A 10,000-gallon water tanker was put in place in the area, replacing water every 48 hours. Residents are advised to boil and cool the water before drinking it or using it for cooking.
I conducted a poll, asking users on both Instagram and Twitter nationwide whether or not they were making a conscious effort to conserve water. Of the 86 people who participated, 51% of individuals said they were conserving water, with 49% not doing so.
When did the heatwave start, is there an end in sight?
A spike in temperatures was noted from 23rd of June onwards. Met Éireann confirmed that at Shannon Airport, it noted that on the 28th, it was the hottest June day since 1946 at 32 degrees.
According to Met Éireann’s monthly weather statement for the month of June, it noted that it was the driest June at the Phoenix Park in terms of rainfall since 1941.
The weather is set to be hot this week and mostly dry with some rain, which will be predominately towards the end of this week. The high pressure that has been dominating the weather will weaken gradually, allowing some precipitation to break through.
However, Met Éireann has stated that due to the fact that there has been little to no rainfall over the last few weeks, it would not reach water services for at least a week as it would be absorbed by the ground.