Low water levels on the River Nore in Kilkenny in recent days. Picture: Harry Reid
Irish Water is continuing to urge homes and businesses in Kilkenny to conserve water despite some rainfall here in recent days, as many raw water resources are significantly depleted and continue to drop.
In Kilkenny, restrictions remain in place on the Bennettsbridge supply which supplies Bennettsbridge, Kells, Dunamaggin, Stoneyford, Knocktopher and Ballyhale. In order to increase supply, Irish Water is moving forward with a plan to drill a new trial borehole to supplement the existing source.
Other areas in Kilkenny that are at risk from the present drought conditions include parts of Kilkenny City, Clogh-Castlecomer, Graignamanagh and Inistioge. Irish Water and Kilkenny County Council are monitoring these supplies but no restrictions are currently in place.
Earlier in the week, Kilkenny County Council said that people in Kilkenny did appear to be heeding advice to conserve water. However, officials expressed concerns over the situation going forward, as water tables are traditionally at their lowest in late August/September.
There are currently 24,000 people across 22 water supply schemes across the country who are experiencing a restricted or intermittent water supply. This includes schemes in Clare, Cork, Donegal, Galway, Kerry, Kilkenny, Limerick and Offaly.
This number of people affected has doubled since restrictions were first introduced in a bid to protect the supply of water to these communities in the longer term. The schemes are reviewed on a daily basis and restrictions are only put on if necessary.
There are 20 schemes across the country, including in Kilkenny, currently having water tankered to reservoirs or water sources to minimise restrictions or potential restrictions and protect the supply. Over 90,000 people are benefiting from this measure.
Are you critically dependent on water for medical needs but have not registered as a priority customer? Please register online or call us on 1850 448 448. If required, we will arrange an alternative water supply for you. Register now at https://t.co/5mEKKfdjIg. #IrishWater— Irish Water (@IrishWater) July 14, 2018
Significant works are ongoing to try to support the supply of water in these areas, including improving intakes from the raw water sources, upgrading boreholes and investigating potential supplementary water sources, with Irish Water hydrologists out on the ground in a number of locations.
“Raw water resources are significantly depleted and continue to drop. In the absence of significant rainfall amounts, Irish Water continues to be concerned about the water resources into August and September. Water conservation efforts by Irish Water, the local authorities and our customers need to continue at their current levels," says Kate Gannon, Irish Water’s Corporate Affairs Manager and water engineer.
“The efforts made by homes, businesses and farms have been really encouraging and we are very grateful for any and all measures taken to conserve water. Our leakage reduction teams have been active on the ground, working with the local authorities and prioritising the most impactful leaks first.”
“We are continuously monitoring the supply and demand levels. While any rainfall at all is welcome, we have a long way to go. Advice for homes, businesses and farms is available on water.ie where people can also see the decreasing usage of water in the Greater Dublin Area. Continued conservation is essential if we are to protect and safeguard future water supply.”