Af­ter no rain for weeks, hosepipe ban ex­tended to end of the month

Wexford People - - NEWS - By MARIA PEP­PER

A NA­TION­WIDE hosepipe ban im­posed by Irish Wa­ter will re­main in place un­til mid­night on Tues­day, July 31, as the dry weather con­tin­ues.

‘We thank the pub­lic for their con­ser­va­tion ef­forts so far and we urge them to con­tinue to con­serve wa­ter to help pro­tect wa­ter sup­plies now and over the com­ing months,’ said a spokesper­son.

Met Eire­ann con­firmed that there has been lit­tle or no rain over the past 35 days and the av­er­age soil deficit is 60mm mean­ing that even if it did rain, no wa­ter would reach un­der­ground wa­ter sources for at least a week, as it will be ab­sorbed by the ground first.

The weather fore­caster said pre­dic­tions show that no sig­nif­i­cant rain­fall is likely for at least a fur­ther week, mean­ing deep­en­ing drought con­di­tions.

The Na­tional Wa­ter Con­ser­va­tion Or­der, com­monly re­ferred to as a hosepipe ban, came into ef­fect last Fri­day morn­ing for all do­mes­tic pub­lic wa­ter sup­plies and com­mer­cial premises for non-com­mer­cial ac­tiv­i­ties, for ex­am­ple wa­ter­ing gar­dens at­tached to a busi­ness premises.

High lev­els of sun­light mean that there is evap­o­ra­tion of wa­ter sources with the con­tin­u­ing drought con­di­tions putting pres­sure on wa­ter lev­els in rivers, lakes and ground­wa­ter drops.

Mean­while, de­mand for wa­ter has in­creased by an av­er­age 15% and this can’t be sus­tained for any pe­riod of time, ac­cord­ing to Irish Wa­ter.

‘The Con­ser­va­tion Or­der has the po­ten­tial to sup­press any non-es­sen­tial in­creases in de­mand dur­ing this pe­riod and pre­vent in­creased ab­strac­tion at a time when the raw wa­ter sources are at least able to sup­port these vol­unes’, said the spokesper­son.

‘Irish Wa­ter’s top pri­or­ity dur­ing the cur­rent dry pe­riod is to pro­tect our wa­ter sup­ply for use in homes and busi­nesses in the com­ing weeks and months. As de­mand con­tin­ues out­strip sup­ply and the warm weather looks set to con­tinue, Irish Wa­ter has taken the ex­tra step to use the le­gal op­tions open to us with Sec­tion 56 (16) of the Wa­ter Ser­vices Act 2007 al­low­ing for an ef­fec­tive ‘hosepipe ban’.

‘We hope that in­tro­duc­ing a hosepipe ban will make peo­ple more mind­ful of their re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and the im­pact their wa­ter us­age is hav­ing on their neigh­bours and com­mu­ni­ties’, the spokesper­son added.

The fol­low­ing uses are pro­hib­ited un­der the Wa­ter Con­ser­va­tion Or­der:

• Filling or main­tain­ing a do­mes­tic swimming pool (ex­cept when us­ing hand held con­tain­ers filled di­rectly from a tap).

• Wa­ter­ing a gar­den.

• Clean­ing a pri­vate mo­tor ve­hi­cle us­ing a do­mes­tic hosepipe.

• Clean­ing a pri­vate leisure boat.

• Filling or main­tain­ing a do­mes­tic pond (ex­clud­ing fish ponds).

• Filling or main­tain­ing an or­na­men­tal foun­tain (with the ex­cep­tion of use for com­mer­cial pur­poses).

• Filling or re­plen­ish­ing an ar­ti­fi­cial pond, lake or sim­i­lar ap­pli­ca­tion.

The hosepipe ban does not ap­ply to pri­vate wells or pri­vate group wa­ter schemes.

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