Irish Water warn recent rainfall not sufficient as more schemes develop drought conditions

Despite recent rainfall, Irish Water says that the number of schemes in drought around the country has increased from 27 to 37 and the ones in potential drought has grown from 50 to 59 since the start of the Water Conservation Order on 8 June.

In Wicklow, the Rathdrum water supply remains in drought and both Barnadarrig and Kirikee are at risk of going into drought.  

Speaking about the water conservation order and the recent rainfall John O’Donoghue, Regional Operations Manager, Irish Water said, “Unfortunately short periods of rainfall, such as those we have experienced last week, are not sufficient to return raw water sources to normal level. A minimum accumulation of 100mm rainfall and a return to normal precipitation levels thereafter would be needed to offset the impact of the unseasonal lack of rainfall since March. We are keeping the situation under continuous review and are liaising closely with other key agencies such as Met Éireann, the OPW, the EPA, amongst others and if the situation improves we will consider lifting the Water Conservation Order. However any change is unlikely in the short term. We would like to thank the public for their cooperation and the efforts they have made to conserve water in their homes and gardens over the last couple of weeks and to appeal to them to continue supporting us in safeguarding water for essential uses.”

The Water Conservation Order applies to all domestic settings. For gardens, Irish Water encourages the use of recycled water, either gathered outside in a water butt of other container or from basins in the sink or buckets in the shower. 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. Using a hosepipe for one hour is the equivalent of the daily water usage of an average family. There is further information on water conservation available on Irish Water’s website

Irish Water is working at this time, with our Local Authority partners, contractors and others to safeguard the health and well-being of both staff and the public and to ensure the continuity of critical drinking water and wastewater services. Irish Water would like to remind people to follow the HSE COVID-19 advice and ensure frequent handwashing.

To find out more about water supplies impacted by drought conditions please visit

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