Locals urged to ease up on water as dry spell puts Wicklow supply under pressure
People in Wicklow are being urged to conserve water as much as possible as fears rise of a water shortage as we enter summer and more and more people return to work.
Irish Water has confirmed that there has been a significant increase in household water usage, with people adhering to government advice and staying at home since mid-March in response to the Covid-19 crisis.
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. But to offset this, non-domestic water usage has decreased with many businesses, construction sites, schools, colleges, gyms, hotels, bars and restaurants temporarily closed.
Irish Water is worried that when Government restrictions are lifted, many commercial premises will need to use extra water to clean and flush their plumbing systems, while water usage in homes will continue to remain higher than normal which could put pressure on the water supplies.
As water treatment plants are already working to their maximum capacity, Irish Water is appealing to the public to conserve water now where they can, so that together we can meet the increased demands on our network when restrictions are relaxed for businesses.
Speaking about the need to conserve water, Irish Water’s Managing Director Niall Gleeson 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.
“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.
“There are some simple measures that the public can take including stopping the use of powerwashers at home; using a watering can rather than a hose in the garden; taking showers over baths; and fix any dripping taps where it is possible to do so,” Mr Gleeson concluded.
Irish Water has published advice and guidance for homes, businesses and farms regarding water conservation, and can be found at www.water.ie/conservation.