While this warm spell is very welcome to most of us, it maybe causing some issues for farmers and Irish Water. Today, Irish Water has posted a notice to say that while most of their 750 water treatment plants continue to meet demand for water supply, 13 areas are currently impacted by shortages. Irish Water are using a range of measures to ensure supply by tankering water or using night-time restrictions to protect supply and keep water flowing to homes and businesses. 60 supplies around the country are currently being monitored.
According to the European Drought Observatory the south of Ireland is experiencing significant soil moisture deficit that is resulting in vegetation stress and vegetation deficit in some areas.
In good weather there is an increased demand for water, sometimes as much as a 20%. This puts stress on the system particularly when water levels are already low in lakes and rivers. Taking further water from these sources can risk degradation of the habitat for other species and result in the concentration of pollutants resulting in a decrease in water quality and the need for enhanced treatment at water plants.
Met Eireann say that this hot spell is likely to last for a week it will continue to remain dry and this will put agricultural production and water supply at further risk. To protect our water resources and aquatic habitats it is important to conserve water, particularly when there is an extended dry period.
The Water Forum has produced a short infographic showing a number of small actions that everyone can do that will relieve the pressure on our water supply networks and aquatic habitats.