Majority of country officially enters 'absolute drought'

Irish Water has confirmed its hosepipe ban will be extended countrywide from tomorrow

Majority of country officially enters 'absolute drought'

The sun bearing down on the Roundwood Reservoir in County Wicklow, 29-06-2018. Image: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews

Most parts of the country will enter a state of 'absolute drought' today.

It means no rain has fallen in the past 15 days.

Yesterday, Irish water confirmed its hosepipe ban would be extended countrywide from tomorrow morning - as supplies remain under pressure from the heatwave.

It will remain in place until at least the end of the month.

The utility has warned that the ground is now so dry that even if rain did fall, no water would reach its water sources for at least a week, as it would simply be absorbed by the ground.

The hosepipe ban applies to all domestic premises. It bans the use of water drawn through a hosepipe “or similar apparatus” for a range of purposes.

These include: 

  • Watering a garden
  • Cleaning a private motor-vehicle using a domestic hosepipe
  • Cleaning a private leisure boat using a hosepipe
  • Filling or maintaining a domestic swimming or paddling pool - except when using a watering can 
  • Filling or maintaining a domestic pond using a hosepipe - excluding fish ponds
  • Filling or maintaining a domestic ornamental fountain 
  • Use of water for filling or replenishing an artificial pond, lake or similar application - - excluding fish ponds.

It will come into force nationwide from 8am tomorrow.

Irish Water General Manager Eamon Gallen said the utility will send inspectors to households suspected of continually flouting the ban.

“We have had very few reports so far of people breaching the ban,” he said.

“In cases where there is consistent and excessive usage, we will send people out to investigate if there are problems – leaks etc. – on the property and whether or not we can give conservation advice.

“It is not our intention to be imposing fines in any great number.

“We believe that once we talk to people, we can change behaviour. Most people are law-abiding and will adhere to the order.”

The utility said demand for water has increased by 15% around the country in recent weeks.

It has thanked the public for their efforts to conserve water since the dry weather set in and urged people to continue to save water in the coming months.