We all have a part to play in conserving water: 52% of the public admit to wasting water
One year on from the worst drought in 70 years, that saw the country’s first Water Conservation Order - hosepipe ban - research conducted by B&A for Irish Water has revealed that 52% of the public now admit to wasting water and 25% of people believe that they don’t need to conserve water because of the level of rainfall in Ireland.
Irish Water is launching a water conservation campaign to encourage the public to ‘use only what we need’ because of the economic and environmental cost of providing safe clean drinking water and the need to safeguard supply for the future.
Each day in Ireland, 1.7 billion litres of water is collected, treated and pumped around a vast network of pipes to homes, businesses, hospitals and farms.
The treatment process is a lengthy and complex one with seven stages that take up to three days to make raw water suitable to drink.
As our population grows, Irish Water need to ensure that we are abstracting enough water for homes and businesses while still protecting the environment. Irish Water is conserving water by fixing leaks but conservation by homes and businesses is key.
Last year, research showed that the public were unaware of that their average daily usage of water is 129 litres per person. Small measures in conserving water can have a big impact. Six litres of water a minute can be saved by turning off the tap when brushing your teeth; showering uses half the amount of water than a bath; and keeping a jug of water in the fridge instead of running the cold tap can save up to 10 litres of water.
Speaking as the Water Conservation campaign was launched, Michael Cunniffe, Water Engineer, Irish Water said: “In 2018 bad storms followed by the prolonged drought really showed people that safe, clean, treated water is not an unlimited supply and that we all have to play a part in conserving it. Communities in Meath experienced water outages when the pipe supplying water to Staleen Water Treatment plant burst. This particular pipe has been replaced and works to upgrade the treatment plant itself are well underway. While these works are underway conserving water is especially important as there are times when supply is dependent on reservoir storage. Irish Water has also carried extensive upgrade to the watermains right across the county to safeguard the water supply to homes and businesses in Meath.”
“It was really encouraging last summer to see on social media and elsewhere, the conservation measures that people were taking in their homes and businesses. However, when the urgency of a drought passes, it is easy to lose focus on how precious water is. This is despite the fact that the financial and environmental impact treating and providing drinking water does not decrease as rainfall as increases.”
“There are loads of helpful conservation tips for homes, business and farms on our website water.ie/conservation on social media @Irish Water. We are encouraging everyone to play their part and use only what they need.”