A month-long hosepipe ban has come into effect in the Greater Dublin region today, including parts of Wicklow, Meath and Kildare. Anyone caught using a hosepipe during the month of July will face a hefty fine and/or court.
Speaking on Morning Ireland today, Olivia Kelly of the Irish Times said, “You can’t use your hose to water your garden, to wash your car, or to wash your boat. You can’t fill paddling pools using a hose (although you can use buckets to fill a paddling pool, so they’re not exactly banned).” The Dublin correspondent added, “You can fill a pond if it contains fish, but not if it doesn’t contain fish.” Potted plants can still be watered as long as you use a watering can (which has been filled from your tap).
The hosepipe ban is purely domestic and does not apply to commercial use. As such, businesses who rely on hosepipes (including carwashes) can still make use of them. However, if the use of hosepipes is not essential to a person’s business (such as in a communal garden of a hotel) then the hosepipe ban must be obeyed. What’s more, the public is being asked to use their better judgement. If you don’t really need to go to the car wash, don’t.
“The reality is we rely on community and peer pressure..."
Irish Water is asking people to report their neighbours if they spot them using a hosepipe. Those wishing to do so can call 1850 278 278. Managing director of Irish Water Jerry Grant told Morning Ireland, “The reality is we rely on community and peer pressure because we can’t enforce our way to proper water management. At the end of the day, enforcement procedures are there and we have the powers to take action when there’s flagrant abuse of water, but that’s all we can do.”
Irish Water will investigate all reports they receive. People found to have breached the ban will be fined €125, which must be paid within 21 days. Failure to pay the fine within this timeframe will result in prosecution.
"It's expected the hosepipe ban will extend to counties Kilkenny, Carlow and Waterford..."
The ban will be in place until 31st July at the earliest and may extend into August if water supplies don’t improve. Irish Water spokesman Eamon Gallen said, “Under Section 56 of the Water Supply Act 2007, we do have powers to implement measures to restrict demands between five and 10%.” He added, “We’re doing everything we can to prevent outages and restrictions.” That being said, it's expected the hosepipe ban will extend to counties Kilkenny, Carlow and Waterford over the coming days or weeks.
The hosepipe ban comes amid Ireland's ongoing (and record-breaking) heatwave. A nationwide status yellow drought warning is in effect until Friday, with MET Éireann forecasting, “little or no rain for most areas over the coming week”. What’s more, a status yellow temperature warning is in effect across Munster, Leinster, Cavan, Monaghan, Galway, Leitrim and Roscommon until 9pm tonight.