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There are currently 24,000 people across 22 water supply schemes across the country who are experiencing a restricted or intermittent water supply. This includes schemes in Clare, Cork, Donegal, Galway, Kerry, Kilkenny, Limerick and Offaly. This number of people affected has doubled since restrictions were first introduced in a bid to protect the supply of water to these communities in the longer term. The schemes are reviewed on a daily basis and restrictions are only put on if necessary. For example in Athlone restrictions that were nightly have now gone to once a week reflecting the operational work that has been done on the ground, the conservation efforts of homes and businesses and the water saved by restricting the supply.
There are 20 schemes across the country in Clare, Cork, Donegal, Galway, Galway City, Kerry, Kilkenny, Limerick and Offaly who are currently having water tankered to reservoirs or water sources to minimise restrictions or potential restrictions and protect the supply. Over 90,000 people are benefiting from this measure.
Significant works are ongoing to try to support the supply of water in these areas, including improving intakes from the raw water sources, upgrading boreholes and investigating potential supplementary water sources, with Irish Water hydrologists out on the ground in a number of locations.
In the Greater Dublin Area, there are around 600,000 people affected by active pressure management restrictions. These customers are not seeing any discernible impact. The pressure management is being fine-tuned, using the learnings and customer feedback from when pressure management was used during Storm Emma. This has ensured minimal disruption, including areas with high night-time use. Pressure will continue to be managed so as not to cause any weekend issues.
The effects of the pressure management in the Greater Dublin Area will be reviewed next week when Irish Water has 7 days of data available to assess the impact and the water savings. Pressure management will be continued in the Greater Dublin Area but we will use this information to decide whether Irish Water needs to move from Level 2 restrictions or increase the areas affected. Irish Water will notify the public in advance of any further escalations.
Commenting on the situation, Irish Water’s Corporate Affairs Manager and water engineer Kate Gannon said,
The efforts made by homes, businesses and farms have been really encouraging and we are very grateful for any and all measures taken to conserve water. Our leakage reduction teams have been active on the ground, working with the local authorities and prioritising the most impactful leaks first.
We are continuously monitoring the supply and demand levels. While any rainfall at all is welcome, we have a long way to go. Advice for homes, businesses and farms is available on water.ie where people can also see the decreasing usage of water in the Greater Dublin Area. Continued conservation is essential if we are to protect and safeguard future water supply.
The general health advice is to stay out of the smoke if possible, as it is an irritant and can more commonly make both the eyes and throat sore in addition to other health effects.
Provided that there is no risk from the fire itself, please follow the following advice:
During this period of prolonged dry hot weather, the Department of Housing, Planning & Local Government would like to advise the public that grass and brush fires can spread rapidly and can threaten both you and your property.
Moisture deficit conditions as reported by Met Éireann are now at their worst for wildland fires to start and spread.
A narrow band of rain will move Eastwards across the country this evening, reaching the Southeast early tonight. Ahead of the rain it will stay dry and it will also turn drier and brighter in the Northwest before dark. The moderate or fresh Southerly breezes will ease and veer Northwest in the clearance.
Rain in the East and Southeast for a time early tonight will clear. Otherwise tonight will bring broken cloud and a few showers, mainly onto west and northwest coasts. Turning cooler, lowest temperatures of 7 or 8 degrees.
On Wednesday, there'll be some sunny spells, but cloudy periods also and some scattered showers. Highest temperatures of 15 to 18 degrees, coolest along Northern and Western coastal parts. Winds will be moderate West to Northwesterly, fresher for a time off the North Ulster coast.
Eoghan Murphy, TD, Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government and Minister Kevin Boxer Moran appealed to the public, urging them to use water sparingly and to prevent wildland fires during this extended period of dry weather conditions, which is also bringing drought conditions.
...said Minister Murphy.
Minister Moran said:
They were speaking following a visit to Irish Water’s Headquarters in Dublin where the company’s Crisis Management Team are managing almost 1,000 water supply schemes to minimise potential reduction or loss of water supply. Irish water have extended their ban on the use of hose pipes in domestic settings nationwide as the warm weather, which the country has enjoyed, is forecast by Met Éireann to continue. Met Éireann also are forecasting only small amounts of rain over the coming two weeks and thus drought conditions will persist.
The Ministers were accompanied by officers from local authority fire services who are also appealing to the public to prevent wildland fires. Fire services are responding currently to between 130 and 160 wildland fire incidents every day. As the drought continues, the conditions for fire will get worse, the Minister said. This underlines the need for care to prevent wildland fires from starting. Controlled burning of stubble by farmers is banned by the Department of Agriculture. People visiting or hiking in the countryside should not light any fire. Reports indicate that a significant number of the current wildland fires are caused by careless discarding of matches and cigarette ends. This is putting pressure on fire services, who have had to call in the Air Corps helicopters to assist with some wildland fire-fighting this week.
Fire services are working with Irish Water to ensure that they can access waters supplies in urban areas where there may be restrictions on water pressure. Each fire engine carries 2,000 litres of water and this is sufficient to put out the majority of fires the Minister said, but it is important that restricted supplies can be redirected without delay to areas where fire services are fighting large fires in towns. Where practicable, fire services are filling their fire engines and water tankers from open sources – rivers and lakes – rather than taking mains waters for fire-fighting.
We are also urging people to be responsible and to take their rubbish and bottles home when they are out at the beach or in other recreation and amenity areas this weekend and while the good weather lasts.
ESB would like to remind the general public of the dangers and potential serious consequences of swimming in any ESB reservoir. This is due to the risk of uneven ground, deep waters, changing water levels and fast-flowing waters.
These waters include the reservoirs at Poulaphoca and Golden Falls in Wicklow, Leixlip in Kildare, Inniscarra and Carrigadrohid in Cork, the Ardnacrusha headrace and tailrace canal in County Clare and Assaroe and Lough Nacung in County Donegal.
During a hot spell those with heart, respiratory and serious health problems are more at risk of potentially adverse effects of very warm weather, while babies and young children are also especially at risk.
While the heat can affect anyone, the following are most at risk of serious harm:
With Ireland experiencing it’s hottest summer in decades, the HSE National Cancer Control Programme is this week advising people to enjoy the good weather but to protect themselves against skin cancer.
Every effort you make at home or at work will help
As the warm weather continues, the demands on water supplies is outstripping supply across the country. Irish Water’s priority is to minimise the impact on homes and businesses, particularly during this period of holidays and high tourism. We are asking the public to please conserve water wherever possible to avoid putting more supplies at risk. Every small thing you do to save water in your home and business will benefit your community.
Over 25 schemes across the country already on restrictions
Irish Water working with the local authorities in the Greater Dublin Area which includes parts of Wicklow, Kildare and Meath have formulated a plan that focuses on the introduction of night time water restrictions in a bid to protect future water supply for homes and businesses and avoid widespread outages in the autumn.
Irish Water and the local authorities worked through over 800 district meter areas to establish where water supplies can be restricted and for how long while minimising the impact to homes and businesses. This was balanced against how much water can be saved through these restrictions. Areas around major hospitals have been protected and pressure will not be affected in those areas.
Schemes have been categorised on a 0 to 5 rating to identify the level of risk and the level of intervention that is required.
Levels 0 – 3 will see no day-time restrictions.
Level 0 will result in no restrictions and water pressure will be maintained to accommodate peak flows over 24-hour period.
Level 1 will result in night-time pressures being reduced to minimal practical from midnight to 5am. The average 2-storey house will not see any change in service.
Level 2 will see a reduction in the pressure at night-time to the minimal that is practical for normal pressure to reach the ground floor of a two storey house. Most customers will experience low night-time pressures, but no loss of supply. Supply to some customers on high ground and at remote end of networks may reduce to trickle at kitchen sink during those periods. In multi-storey buildings, customers may experience low night-time pressures depending on their building pumping and storage system. The time period for Level 2 is from 10pm to 5am.
Level 3 will see night-time pressures reduced so that most customers will experience low night-time pressures, but no loss of supply. Supply to some customers on high ground and at remote end of networks may reduce to slight flow at kitchen sink during those periods. Customers in multi-storey buildings may experience low night-time pressures depending on their building pumping and storage system. The time period for Level 3 will start from 10pm to 5am and be extended to 9pm to 7am as required.
Level 4 will see an impact on day-time service where water pressure is reduced to minimal practical for average flow service to ground-floor only and night-time distribution network pressures reduced to minimal practical for minimum flow service capability to ground-floor only. Most customers will experience low pressures during day and night pressure reductions but no loss of supply. Supply to some customers on high ground and at remote end of networks may reduce to trickle at kitchen sink during those periods. Customers in multi-storey buildings may experience low night-time and day-time pressures depending on their building pumping and storage system. The hours for Level 4 are 10am to 4pm and 9pm to 7am.
Level 5 will see day-time water pressures reduced to minimal practical for average flow service capability to ground-floor only. At night-time there will pressure restrictions and shut downs of the network on a rotational basis. At this stage most customers will experience low pressures during day-time pressure reductions, but no loss of supply. Supply to some customers on high ground and at remote end of networks may reduce to trickle at kitchen sink during those periods. Most customers will experience full loss of supply during night-time shuts in their area. Customers in multi-storey buildings may experience low night-time pressures and day-time supply interruptions depending on their building pumping and storage system. The hours will be 10am – 4pm during the day and 9pm to 7am at night.
Level 2 Restrictions beginning Monday night at 10pm
A decision has been made to place the following areas under Level 2 Restrictions from 10pm to 5am, beginning this Monday night:
There are no current plans to go above Level 2 in the Greater Dublin Area. There are already over 25 schemes across the country already on restrictions. These are listed on our Water Shortage Updates page.
Speaking about this move, Irish Water Engineer and water conservation expert, Kate Gannon, said:
The Department reminds all animal owners to ensure their animals have adequate water supplies during the hot spell. Dedicated helpline to report incidents of Animal Cruelty @ CallSave: 0761 064408 or 01 6072379 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Teagasc has set up a help line for farmers who want to speak to an advisor regarding options for feeding stock given the continuing decline in grass growth rates throughout the country. Farmers can contact this help line at 087- 7971377 from 9am to 9pm each day. There are also a series of clinics and events taking place around the country where advice will be available for farmers .
Irish Water Safety, Coast Guard and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution have issued a joint appeal reminding the public to stay alert to the risk of drowning at all times and especially in the current hot weather. On average, five people drown in Ireland every fortnight and the risks increase during July and August, the most popular months for swimming and other water based activities.
Key advice to avoid summer tragedy:
1. Swim within your depth and stay within your depth. Never swim alone.
2. Wear a Lifejacket/Personal Floatation Device when on or near the water and make sure that it has a correctly fitting crotch strap. This applies when boating but equally to both experienced and once-off casual anglers fishing from shore.
3. Supervise children closely and NEVER NEVER use inflatable toys in open water.
4. Swim at Lifeguarded waterways listed on www.iws.ie or in areas that are known locally as safe and where there are ringbuoys present to conduct a safe rescue.
5. If you see someone in difficulty, these simple steps may save a life:
Spokespersons for the three organisations have reiterated their key safety messages;
Irish Water Safety: Know What You’re Getting Into
Coast Guard: Stay Afloat- Stay in Contact
Royal National Lifeboat Institution: Respect the Water
Reminder – If you see somebody in trouble in the water, or if you think they are in trouble Dial 112 and ask for the Coast Guard
The National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management, Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (D/HPLG) received a request from Offaly County Council Fire Services for assistance in relation to forest fires in the Slieve Bloom area. (Close to the Laois / Offaly border.)
D/HPLG formally requested the assistance of the Defence Forces - Air Corps and Ground Troops.
75 personnel have been deployed on the ground today.
2 Air Corps Helicopters and crew.
The AW139 helicopter is equipped with a ‘Bambi’ bucket aerial firefighting system capable of dropping 1200 litres of water per pass. This amount of water, concentrated in a small areas, is understood to make an immediate impact on wildfires.
Inland Fisheries Ireland is asking anglers and the general public to report any sightings of distressed fish which may be caused by high water temperatures and low water levels. Inland Fisheries Ireland is also asking anglers to voluntarily cease using ‘keep nets’ during this period to avoid causing unintentional distress to fish kept for long periods.
The public is invited to make reports of fish in distress to Inland Fisheries Ireland’s 24 Hour Hotline on 1890 34 74 24 or 1890 FISH 24. Inland Fisheries Ireland staff will continue to monitor water bodies for any signs of distressed fish in shallow water, but will be able to react more quickly to timely reports received.