Low water levels on the King's River, pictured here at Kells, have persisted in recent days. Picture: Harry Reid
A new well is to be drilled on the Bennettsbridge Water Supply Scheme to help provide a long-term benefit for areas supplied by the scheme.
Restrictions remain in place — between 10pm and 6am daily — on the scheme, which supplies Bennettsbridge, Kells, Dunnamaggin, Stoneyford, Knocktopher and Ballyhale.
“The scheme has reduced daily consumption due to the repair of leaks and the conservation of water by consumers,” senior council engineer Seamus Kavanagh told the Kilkenny People.
“A new well is to be drilled starting Wednesday, which will have a long term benefit for the scheme. The drilling should be complete by Friday.
“Yield analysis and testing of the water will then commence before the supply can be supplemented.”
Irish Water and Kilkenny County Council have warned that despite small amounts of rainfall in Kilkenny in recent days, it has offered no improvement to water levels, which remain extremely low.
The other areas in Kilkenny that are now most at risk from the present drought conditions are Kilkenny City, Clogh-Castlecomer, and Inistioge.
“We are closely monitoring the schemes and the weather forecast and will continue to do so,” said Mr Kavanagh.
“As well as monitoring outputs and water levels, we are concentrating on high demand areas to identify leaks and repair same.
A number of crews are working daily on leak repairs and water conservation.”
Last 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 on 22 water supply schemes across the country which are experiencing a restricted or intermittent water supply. This includes schemes in Clare, Cork, Donegal, Galway, Kerry, Kilkenny, Limerick and Offaly.
Several areas in Kilkenny are still in danger of water supply disruption despite weekend rain. https://t.co/6ytH2TO7hc— Kilkenny People (@KKPeopleNews) July 24, 2018
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. Irish Water says over 90,000 people are benefiting from this measure.