Heatwave leaves four Cork areas at risk of drought 

Four areas in Cork are at risk of drought as scorching hot temperatures are set to continue until Wednesday.
Heatwave leaves four Cork areas at risk of drought 

Irish Water have warned that there are currently four areas in Cork that are at risk of drought: Clonakilty, Roberts Cove, Whitechurch and Coppeen. It has said that it is also closely monitoring a number of other schemes in Cork. Pic: Maxpix

Four areas in Cork are at risk of drought as scorching hot temperatures are set to continue until Wednesday.

Irish Water have warned that there are currently four areas in Cork that are at risk of drought: Clonakilty, Roberts Cove, Whitechurch and Coppeen. It has said that it is also closely monitoring a number of other schemes in Cork. 

Since the middle of last week Irish Water has seen a noticeable increase in water usage, particularly in seaside resorts and agricultural areas with demand likely to remain high through July and August.

Measures being implemented by Irish Water in at-risk areas include tankering and/or night time restrictions to protect supplies and ensure water keeps flowing to homes and businesses.

Irish Water are asking the public to take steps to conserve water and to avoid the need for restrictions later in the summer – such as avoiding power washing or hosing gardens, checking for leaks on outdoor taps or troughs, and re-using water in paddling and swimming pools where possible.

At home, people are advised to take shorter showers and turn off the tap when brushing teeth or shaving. Those washing cars are advised to use a bucket and sponge instead of a hose, while those watering gardens should do so in the evening when water won't evaporate, and with a watering can instead of a hose, watering close to the roots of plants. 

“We would like to thank the public for their support in conserving water and ask that they continue to conserve over the summer months. It can sometimes be difficult to know where to start, but even small changes can make a significant difference – and we can all play our part. By reducing the water used for example turning off the hose and avoiding power washing we can all help ensure there is enough water for everyone as we go through the summer," said Tom Cuddy, Irish Water’s Head of Asset Operations.

“We will continue to monitor the levels at all our supplies over the coming weeks and months and take any actions that may be necessary to maintain supplies, including communicating about localised issues as they arise,” he added. 

Members of the public are also asked to look out for visible leaks in the public water network, or low water pressure in their homes which could indicate a leak.

Leaks can be reported by contacting Irish Water at 1800 278 278 or on Irish Water's website. The website also contains more information and advice on water conservation. 

Meanwhile, Minister for Older People Mary Butler is advising those with underlying health conditions, as well as older people, to stay safe during the hot weather.

She is urging the public, and especially those who are more vulnerable, to stay hydrated, ensure homes are properly ventilated, and keep out of direct sunlight as much as possible during the day, especially between peak UV hours of 11am and 3pm.

“Heat stress, heat exhaustion and heatstroke are potentially serious health risks for people during a heatwave. I urge older people, and anyone caring for someone, to take steps to stay cool and hydrated and monitor for signs of dehydration and heat exhaustion," she said, adding that a GP or pharmacist will be able to advise if any medicines may make someone more likely to become ill from the heat. 

Minister Butler is particularly urging those who are caring for someone to be vigilant. 

“If you are caring for someone, they may not have a sense of how much they are drinking. To help them, make sure they drink during mealtimes and offer food with a high water content," she said. 

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