September 19, 2020
Business News

Concern as drought greatly reduces water levels in rivers and lakes across Wicklow

Irish Water and Wicklow County Council are urging the people of Knockanarrigan and surrounding areas to continue conserving supplies “in every way possible” as the scorching weather and drought increasingly reduces water levels in rivers, lakes and boreholes.

As a result, the Knockanarrigan Water Treatment Plant is operating at full capacity and decreasing reservoir levels are giving major cause for concern. Customers in Knockanarrigan are urged to reduce water usage in every way possible to ensure a continuous supply for all.

As well as reducing consumption, we are appealing to the public to report leaks on the public water network to 1850 278 278 and to repair private side leaks in both homes and in businesses. With people adhering to government advice and staying at home since mid-March in response to the Covid-19 crisis, Irish Water has confirmed there has been a significant increase in household water usage.

New domestic metering data has revealed that households are using an additional 24 litres of water per person per day, a 20% increase from February. Water utilities in the UK have reported a similar increase.

As many water treatment plants are already working to their maximum capacity, Irish Water is appealing to the public to prioritise handwashing over power washing and conserve water now where they can.

There are some simple measures that the public can take including stopping the use of power washers at home; using a watering can rather than a hose in the garden; taking showers over baths; and fixing any dripping taps where it is possible to do so. More advice and guidance for homes, businesses and farms, including information on how much water you can save with simple measures on http://water.ie/conservation.

Speaking about the need to conserve water, Irish Water’s Asset Operations Lead for Wicklow, Peter Thornton, said: “It is really important that everyone follows the HSE guidance on handwashing, however there are some ways to conserve water that will not impact on hygiene. Insights from meter reads show that households are now using 20% more water and we can see a significant change in water usage patterns in commuter belt towns and rural areas where significant numbers of people would usually be out of the house for long periods during the day. We are also conscious that we have had an extremely dry spell so we are continually monitoring our water sources for any signs of drought. We would urge consumers supplied by the Knockanarrigan water supply to be particularly mindful of their use at this time due to decreasing reservoir levels.

“In Irish Water, we are continually looking at what we call the supply / demand balance. This means that we need to ensure that we can supply more treated drinking water than is required for use. We can manage this by conserving water; losing less by repairing leaks; and supplying smarter by ensuring that all of our plants are working optimally.

“It is essential that we act now to protect our supply and safeguard our water for essential usage. We can all work together to conserve water where possible and to ensure emergency leaks are being repaired.”

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