This week Uisce Éireann have an ongoing public campaign asking people in the Greater Dublin region to conserve water and check for leaks. This is because there is additional pressure on supplies and Uisce Éireann do not wish to impose restrictions.
85% of Dublin’s drinking water supply comes from the River Liffey, equivalent to 40% of its flow. Dublin has only a few days of water supply available at any one time. Uisce Éireann state that in the past year alone water demand has increased by the equivalent of 120,000 homes. The Government plan to build 300,000 new homes in the next 10 years, which will further increase demand. CSO forecast a population increase of between 20-30% for this region by 2040.
Uisce Éireann has a plan to provide a secondary supply from the River Shannon, through a 170km pipeline that is planned to be in place by 2034. However, the business case for this plan has not yet been approved by the Government, which needs to happen before the project can commence. The Water Forum is concerned that this secondary supply will not be in place to meet demand in the coming years, with additional risk from climate change which is predicted to increase drought and dry periods in this region.
The Water Forum believes that to avert water shortages in the Dublin region in the coming years, change towards long-term water efficient behaviours is essential. This will require a commitment from government and water suppliers to pro-actively support water conservation action in homes and businesses. Communities need to be informed of the risks to supply so that they are encouraged to be more water efficient and value water more.