Limerick farmers on 'red alert' over water supplies

Limerick farmers on 'red alert' over water supplies

THE SAYING, “You don't miss the water ‘til the well runs dry” is very apt this week.

Met Eireann have issued a Status Yellow High Temperature warning with the mercury set to hit 30 degrees. Man and beast are seeking shade and hydration.

Ensuring water troughs are full is farmers’ primary concern. The last thing they wanted to hear was a message from Irish Water to expect “water outages, reduced pressure and possible night time restrictions in the coming days”. Affected areas are Abbeyfeale, Athea, Newcastle West, Broadford, Dromcollogher, Ardagh, Ballingarry, Rathkeale and Glin.

Cathaoirleach of the Newcastle West area, Cllr Liam Galvin said he is very surprised that, “We’re only a week into this fine weather and they are already sending out warnings”.

“Can you imagine if we got a proper dry summer with the months of June, July and August dry - would we be drawing it on our back?” said Cllr Galvin.

As a farmer, he says there is concern in the agri community regarding water and particularly those who have outside farms.

“A lot of farmers on their original homestead would have their own water supply. Those who have outside farms generally speaking don’t have their own wells.

“Animals need water 24 hours a day in fine periods of weather like this. There is concern there, absolutely,” said Cllr Galvin, who asked people to conserve water and mentioned gardening hoses and washing cars.

The situation is so serious that West Limerick Group Water Scheme (GWS) asked the Leader to print an advisory notice. The schemes involved are Cappagh, Croagh, Granagh and Killeedy.

“Our plant operators have informed us that our consumption has increased by almost 100% in some areas. Teagasc have advised us that a dairy cow in this very hot weather can consume 120ltrs/day. As the current hot spell of weather continues, West Limerick GWS asks all members to be mindful of your water usage. Please conserve water where possible and use only what you need. Please check taps and cattle troughs for leaks and repair immediately.”

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