Despite recent rainfall, Irish Water says that the number of schemes in drought around the country has increased from 35 to 38 and the ones in potential drought has grown from 52 to 58 since the start of the Water Conservation Order on 8 June.

The need for the Water Conservation Order was due to the exceptionally dry spring, the driest for 70 years in some parts of the country according to Met Éireann.

Irish Water Lead Neil Smyth says: “Unfortunately short periods of rainfall, such as those we have experienced last week, are not sufficient to return raw water sources to normal levels.

“A minimum accumulation of 100mm rainfall and a return to normal precipitation levels thereafter would be needed to offset the impact of the unseasonal lack of rainfall since March.

“We are keeping the situation under continuous review and are liaising closely with other key agencies such as Met Éireann, the OPW, the EPA, amongst others and if the situation improves we will consider lifting the Water Conservation Order. However any change is unlikely in the short term.

“There are a few schemes in drought or potential drought in Cork. Roberts Cove and Kiskeam are currently in drought with the Clonakilty water supply scheme and the Newmarket WSS also known as the Ballinatona water supply scheme are in potential drought.”

Irish Water would like to thank the public for their cooperation and the efforts they have made to conserve water in their homes and gardens over the last week and to appeal to them to continue that support in safeguarding water for essential uses.