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Irish Water warns recent rainfall not sufficient as more schemes develop drought

June 23, 2020 –  Despite recent rainfall, Irish Water says that the number of schemes in drought around the country has increased from 35 to 37 and the ones in potential drought has grown from 52 to 59 since the start of the Water Conservation Order on 8 June. The need for the Water Conservation Order was due to the exceptionally dry spring, the driest for 70 years in some parts of the country according to Met Éireann.

Irish Water Lead Brian O’Leary says, “Unfortunately short periods of rainfall, such as those we have experienced last week, are not sufficient to return raw water sources to normal levels. A minimum accumulation of 100mm rainfall and a return to normal precipitation levels thereafter would be needed to offset the impact of the unseasonal lack of rainfall since March. We are keeping the situation under continuous review and are liaising closely with other key agencies such as Met Éireann, the OPW, the EPA, amongst others and if the situation improves we will consider lifting the Water Conservation Order. However any change is unlikely in the short term.

“In Waterford, the Ballymacarbery Water Supply Scheme and the Fews Water Supply Scheme, near Kilmacthomas are in potential drought.”

Irish Water would like to thank the public for their cooperation and the efforts they have made to conserve water in their homes and gardens over the last week and to appeal to them to continue supporting us in safeguarding water for essential uses.


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Editors notes

Since the Water Conservation Order came into effect, demand in the Greater Dublin Area has dropped to an average of 560 million litres per day from a high of 615 Million litres on the Saturday of the June Bank Holiday weekend. It is worth noting that the weather has been cooler with some rain since the beginning of the Order and Irish Water typically sees higher demand on dry, sunny days.

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