Tipperary gardeners can get out the hose as water ban is lifted

Tipperary Star reporter

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Tipperary gardeners can get out the hose as water ban is lifted

Tipperary gardeners can get out the hose as water ban is lifted

Following recent heavy rainfall and improving river and ground water conditions Irish Water has lifted the Water Conservation Order, more commonly known as the hosepipe ban that was put in place with effect from June 9.

The Water Conservation Order was issued in a bid to safeguard water supplies for essential purposes, in particular water needed for sanitation purposes during the Covid-19 crisis.

Earlier this week, Irish Water met key groups, including Met Éireann, to discuss the forecast, and the OPW and EPA who monitor the levels of lakes and rivers to review and assess their data.

The Water Services Act, which allows for a Water Conservation Order, requires Irish Water to "form the opinion" that "a serious deficiency of water available for distribution exists or is likely to exist".

Following a review of Irish Water data together with the latest information from Met Éireann, the OPW and the EPA, the utility removed the ban from Wednesday, July 8.

When the Water Conservation Order was issued, 27 of Irish Water’s 900 drinking water schemes were in drought with another 50 at risk of going into drought.

Thereafter the situation deteriorated rapidly with the number of schemes in drought or at risk of drought peaking at 98.

Thankfully from a water supply perspective over the past couple of weeks there has been above average rainfall in many areas of the country.

This has resulted in the recovery of some of the water supplies that were in drought or at risk of drought. Currently only 17 schemes remain in drought and a further 61 are at risk.

While the overall numbers are trending downwards, the situation is not uniform across the country and the recovery of some sources is very fragile.