Heavy rain does not solve water crisis as demand increases

The heavy rainfall in some parts of the country over the past few days has hardly solved the problem of the dwindling drinking water supply.

rish Water now has to intervene in 37 locations to support the supply of tankers and other measures.

Another 65 areas are on a watch list because they remain under severe pressure.

Downpours in many parts of the country were at times heavy enough to cause flash flooding in counties Wexford, Carlow and Roscommon.

Irish Water’s Margaret Attridge said that for the most part, the rains have done little to replenish the rivers, lakes and groundwater sources on which drinking water supplies depend.

“The soil moisture deficit remains very high, meaning that this rain runs off or is absorbed by the soil and has minimal impact on supplies,” she said.

“And with more dry weather expected over the next few weeks, it’s important that everyone continues to reduce our water use where possible.

“We will continue to monitor the levels of all of our stocks over the coming weeks and will take all necessary actions to maintain stocks, including communicating any localized issues or limitations as they arise.”

Customers in most areas experiencing shortages have yet to feel the effects, but parts of Cork, Wexford, Limerick, Donegal, Galway and Kerry are subject to nighttime restrictions to ensure supplies can continue without interruption during the day.

More challenges lie ahead as Met Éireann forecasts mixed weather with erratic rainy spells and some very warm conditions for the coming month.

During the summer, the demand for water increased each time temperatures rose, putting additional strain on the supply.

Rain is forecast for this weekend and next week in the west of the country, but the east will be drier than normal and temperatures are expected to be above average in most places.

For the following week towards the end of the month, it will probably be dry and warmer across the country again.

Continued warmer conditions are expected for the first half of September but rainfall is expected to be more normal, with very heavy rain possible mid-month.

“Rain warnings may be needed but confidence is low at this time,” the forecaster said. However, it added: “Temperatures will likely be slightly above norm.”

Forecasters in France and Spain, which have suffered from record droughts this year, are looking further ahead, predicting more trouble into October.

Meanwhile, the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts is forecasting temperatures of three degrees above average for northern Europe next week.

“In the following weeks, this area will move to western Europe with above-average temperatures, where it will remain until September,” it said.

Drought conditions are expected to ease over the next few weeks, but rainfall will be around average in most parts of Europe by early next month.

However, it added: “Above average temperatures are likely to continue across much of Europe into October, with the southern and northern regions showing above average temperatures through the end of the year.”

Irish Water asks all customers to remain aware of supply pressures and try to conserve as much water as possible.

It has developed a calculator to help people calculate their water consumption. It can be found at www.water.ie/calculator and contains tips on how to save water.

https://www.independent.ie/news/environment/heavy-rain-fails-to-solve-water-crisis-as-demand-increases-41919602.html Heavy rain does not solve water crisis as demand increases

Fry Electronics Team

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