21 July 2017
By Bryan T. Smyth
Cork based Fine Gael Senator, Tim Lombard, has called for a ban on excess water usage while the water shortage continues.
“There was great irony debating this issue in the Seanad while rain drizzled outside, however it is important that we address the issues being faced from this year’s lack of rainfall.
“Over these first 6 months of 2017 Cork has seen roughly 33% less rain than in previous years, and while this has contributed to a beautiful, sunny summer the unfortunate consequence is that we are now facing a water shortage.
“So far in July rainfall in Cork is nearly 90% less than in 2016. This is an unprecedented change. Communities in Cork need outside supplies of water to be brought into the area as their own wells and reservoirs are drying out, and any water left is undrinkable due to the magnesium levels being brought up with the dregs of underground water.
“And it’s not just Cork; patterns of significantly lower rainfall are being seen at weather stations all over the country. Ireland is, ironically, running out of water.
“While we wait for rain to replenish our water supplies I have called for a country-wide ban on excess water use; we can’t afford to be wasteful with the limited supply we have left. If this admittedly lovely sunny weather continues we must all reduce our water usage as to ensure that there is enough to provide necessary service.
“It is amazing that in a country where it seems to rains nearly every day of the week that as soon as that rain stops we don’t have enough water to service the needs of our population. That shows how poor our water infrastructure is.
“Going forward we must develop better water systems and infrastructure to ensure that if our largely continual supply of rain was to cease for a short period that we have adequate provisions to see us out until the rain inevitably returns.”