IRISH Water has made an ‘urgent appeal’ to Limerick customers to conserve water, as restrictions in several local areas remain in place.
And the water utility firm is warning that it will take weeks and “even months” for water levels to restore in rivers, lakes and reservoirs.
Irish Water and Limerick City and County Council are continuing to monitor all water supplies across the county on a daily basis, as the unprecedented dry spell continues.
Met Eireann issued a yellow advisory warning for drought this Monday, which remains in place until Friday.
There are currently night time restrictions - from 12 midnight until 6am - in place in Herbertstown, Knocklong, Oola, Bruff, Hospital and Pallasgreen.
There is no end in sight for the restrictions on these schemes, with Irish Water saying they will continue “for the foreseeable future”.
Leak repairs are also ongoing in Herbertstown, Hospital to Knocklong Road, Bruff and Oola and these should reduce the pressure on the treatment plants.
Meanwhile, tankering of water is ongoing, to supplement the reservoirs in Doon, Bruff, Newcastle West, Ardagh and Loughill.
The public is being urged to continue conserving water in every possible way to ensure a continuous supply for all.
As the weather conditions remain warm, the drought is reducing water levels in rivers, lakes and boreholes - and production at water treatment plants is struggling to meet increasing demand.
“As well as reducing consumption, we are appealing to the public to report leaks on the public water network to 1850 278 278 and to repair private side leaks in both homes and in businesses,” said an Irish Water spokesperson.
“The public is asked to change their mind set on water usage and to conserve water now and for the months ahead, as it will take many weeks and even months for raw water levels to restore in rivers, lakes, and boreholes and for treated water levels to restore in our storage reservoirs.”
“We are tankering water from larger schemes to top up reservoirs where levels are falling and trying to protect borderline supplies so as to protect water supply to homes and businesses. This work becomes more challenging as the drought impacts spread nationally and the reserves of water fall across the country,” added the spokesperson.
A hosepipe ban is in place in the Greater Dublin Area until at least July 31, and Irish Water said it is “likely” that similar orders will be brought in elsewhere in the country in the coming weeks.
The drought is very bad news for farmers, who had been praying for rain this week.
Grass growth is practically zero, and many Limerick farmers are feeding precious winter fodder and concentrates to their cattle.
It has also raised concerns that there could be another fodder crisis next winter.