Efforts are underway to maintain water supply to communities in two areas in Cork which are currently in drought.
Irish Water has confirmed that Kishkeam and Robert’s Cove are currently in drought with tankering taking place to ensure water supply is maintained in the areas.
While no other supplies are currently deemed to be at risk in Cork, the company said it was monitoring the situation closely.
It comes as Irish Water warns that it is ‘increasingly likely’ that a Water Conservation Order, or hosepipe ban, will have to be put in place.
It follows increased demand for water and deteriorating drought conditions.
The company said it has been carefully monitoring all raw water sources that feed into water treatment plants since March.
Of 900 drinking water schemes, 16 currently are in drought and 38 are at risk of going into drought.
Irish Water is now appealing to people to increase their efforts to conserve water.
“We are appealing to the public to redouble their efforts in conserving water in the home and in the garden. With so many people staying at home during the COVID-19 crisis, domestic demand for water increased by 20 per cent at a time when our water treatment plants were working at maximum capacity,” said Yvonne Harris, Head of Customer Operations in Irish Water.
“The decrease in the commercial use of water could not off-set the increase in domestic demand. Some of our highest water users include hospitals, food and pharmaceutical manufacturing and data centres, all of which used the same amount of water as normal during the COVID-19 crisis,” she added.
Strict criteria must be met under the Water Services Act 2007 before Irish Water instigates a Water Conservation Order, and Ms Harris said that while the imposition of such a ban is not a measure that Irish Water wants to take, it is increasingly likely that it will have to do so.
“It is essential that our water supply is protected if we are to avoid restrictions and outages over the coming weeks and months,” she stressed.