Heatwave putting Cork water supplies at risk

SOME water supplies in Cork are at risk due to the ongoing heatwave and drought, Irish Water has said.

Irish Water’s Drought Management Team is meeting daily and is monitoring water supplies and demand around the country.

While the Dublin area is particularly affected, they said certain supplies in parts of Cork and a number of other counties are at risk and could face outages.

Demand for water is increasing while levels in rivers and lakes are dropping significantly which means that there is less water available to treat and supply to homes and businesses.

Irish Water’s Corporate Affairs Manager, Kate Gannon, said: “We are very grateful to the public and to businesses for all efforts to conserve water. Every small measure has a positive impact.

“Several businesses who are large water users have confirmed to us that they are implementing water conservation measures and we are very thankful to them for their contribution.”

Dublin Bus has agreed to washing their fleet every three days instead of every day.

“Where restrictions are necessary, we are endeavouring to do them at times that will have the minimal impact on homes and businesses. Irish Water have been liaising with farming representative groups to provide what practical support we can.”

In the Greater Dublin Area, Irish Water said it can sustainably and safely produce 610 million litres of water per day. In the past 24 hours demand reached 615 megalitres.

“This level of demand meant drawing from treated water storage to maintain full supply. This option can only be maintained for a limited period of a few weeks. This record level of summer consumption is also depleting raw water reserves needed for the coming months.

“Irish Water’s priority is to minimise the impact on homes and businesses, particularly during this period of holidays and high tourism. Irish Water, working with the local authorities, has lowered nighttime water pressure levels in the Greater Dublin Area to the minimum level that will not impact businesses but will assist Irish Water managing demand more effectively.”

Irish Water said it is very concerned about the possibility of having to impose restrictions in the long term. This will become unavoidable if the dry conditions persist into the Autumn with lower than normal rainfalls.

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