UISCE ÉIREANN HAS urged the public across the Greater Dublin Area to reduce water usage after demand hit an “unprecedented level”.
This week, daily demand in the Greater Dublin area reached over 630 million litres, the highest on record.
This is an increase of 40 million litres on the same period last year, and the equivalent daily use of almost 120,000 homes.
Uisce Éireann said this increase is due to a range of factors, including a “growing population and increased economic activity”.
However, it also noted that recent weather events have led to bursts on the network and have “pushed demand further to unprecedented levels”.
It has warned that demand for water currently exceeds the capacity of the water treatment plants in the Greater Dublin region.
Uisce Éireann’s head of water operations Margaret Attridge explained: “This simply means that more water is being consumed every day than the capital’s water treatment infrastructure is capable of producing.”
It’s also been warned that storage in Dublin’s treated water reservoirs is approaching critically low levels.
Attridge added: “Water is a precious resource that must go through a complex treatment process to ensure that it is safe to drink.
“While there is no shortage of rainfall to fill our raw water reservoirs, demand is now at or above the capacity of what the city’s water treatment plants can produce on a daily basis.
“This is despite significant and sustained investment by Uisce Éireann in recent years in the water supply infrastructure.”
Uisce Éireann has introduced some localised night-time restrictions to enable leak detection and repair work, and to help manage reservoir levels.
An urgent appeal is also being made to the public for its help in reducing overall demand by conserving water and avoiding preventable loss of water where possible.
“By working together,” said Attridge, “consumers and businesses can play a part in ensuring a sustainable supply of drinking water for everyone and avoid more widespread disruption to supplies.”
Key measures to help protect water supplies include checking homes, business premises and unoccupied premises for leaks and getting them fixed.
Meanwhile, taps should not be left running and any dripping taps inside or outside should be fixed.
The public has also been asked to be mindful of water use and to look for opportunities to make savings.
If you have a suspected leak on your external water supply pipe, consider applying for the First Fix Free Scheme. The scheme offers a free leak investigation and free repair for eligible domestic customers.
Uisce Éireann added that it has put in place a number of measures to help tackle demand, including ramping up leak detection and repair, pressure management across the network, and optimising treatment capacity at our plants.
Non-essential maintenance work has also been deferred to maximise the volume of water available for supply.