Inis Meáin became the last of the Aran Islands to have water restrictions imposed this week. All three islands now have restrictions in place from 8pm to 8am daily in a bid to conserve water during drought conditions.
According to Irish Water the ongoing drought conditions have led to a serious reduction in raw water supplies coupled with a significant increase in water usage, well above levels seen in previous summers on Inis Meáin.
Nighttime restrictions on Inis Mór and Inis Oírr will continue from 8pm to 8am daily with a further afternoon restriction likely to be introduced if the drought continues.
Water usage on Inis Mór has remained high throughout the summer, although leak repair works have gone some way to reduce the level of increase in demand. However reservoir levels are giving cause for very serious concern and the boreholes that supplement the supply have a limited period of output left before they will be exhausted.
A leak repair crew visited Inis Meáin this week to repair two identified leaks on the water main network. Domestic meter reading has also been carried out on the three islands and First Fix Free letters issued to residents.
The First Fix Free scheme aims to help reduce the amount of water wasted through leaks on customers’ properties. The scheme has saved more than 89 million litres of water every day (enough for the daily supply of the city and county of Galway ) from the repair of almost 63,000 leaks.
The scheme offers a free investigation if your water meter has indicated a possible leak on your external supply pipe, and a free repair of the leak subject to terms and conditions of the scheme. For more information see www.water.ie/for-home/first-fix
People are being asked to notify Irish Water of leaks, which will be followed up.
The utility has warned that it will take sustained rainfall over many weeks and even months to replenish raw water levels in rivers, lakes, and groundwater sources and treated drinking water levels in storage reservoirs. Irish Water said it would continue to analyse water consumption levels on a daily basis.