Bad news for Ireland’s gardeners! Irish water a National Water Conservation Order, commonly known as a ‘hosepipe ban’, will be in effect from today, the 9th of June until the 21st of July.
The decision to conserve water for only essential purposes comes after Met Eireann confirmed that May 2020 was the driest since 1850. This along with significantly higher usage of water due to COVID restrictions has meant reservoirs have been at an all-time low.
Irish water announced that “of Irish Water’s 900 drinking water schemes, 27 currently are in a drought and 50 are at risk of going into drought”. And the situation doesn’t look to ease up with weather forecasts predicting a continuation of drier than normal conditions.
Niall Gleeson, Managing Director, said “Irish Water’s top priority during the current dry period is to protect our water supply for use in homes and businesses and for essential sanitation during the Covid-19 crisis. As demand continues to outstrip supply and the dry weather looks set to continue, Irish Water has taken the extra step of implementing a Water Conservation Order.
“It is very clear from Irish Water’s data that that warm weather creates a surge in demand for water. Such weather brings people into their gardens and makes the use of hoses more likely. Similarly, with children confined to home, it can be tempting to use paddling pools etc., however, using a hosepipe for one hour is the equivalent of the daily water usage of an average family and this is evidently a non-essential use of water”.
June bank holidays warm weather resulted in an equivalent daily increase of water usage for an additional 200,000 people being used in the Greater Dublin Area. The same trends were seen across the country. A pattern our already under pressure water systems cannot continue to cope with.
Irish Water estimated that a minimum accumulation of 100mm rainfall spread over a number of weeks would be required and normal rainfall levels preceding that before the threat to water sources would pass.
So what can you do to help?
The Conservation Order prohibits the use of garden hosepipes and other non-essential uses of water by domestic users and commercial premises for non-commercial activities, for example, watering gardens attached to business premises. The Water Conservation Order (hosepipe ban) will be in place until midnight on Tuesday 21 July.
Mr Gleeson said “The key messages are to leave the hose and the pressure washer in the shed; don’t use paddling pools; reuse household water for the garden and take shorter showers. Safeguarding the supply of water is essential at this time when handwashing and hygiene are of critical importance. We are calling on everyone to play their part.”
So could this be the end of Irish pool parties before they can even begin? ☀