Weeks of continuous hot, dry weather prompted South Tipperary to issue an emergency hosepipe ban last week.
South Tipp was one of the first local authorities in Ireland to alert people to dropping water reserves, a side effect of the heat wave.
The hosepipe ban is expected to affect thousands of householders and businesses. The County Council was forced to bring in the ban because of low reservoir and ground water levels. Introducing the ban County Secretary John Oâ€™Mahony said: â€œWater is scarcer and demand has increased by about 30%. Our supplies are down 10% to 15%.â€
Senior Engineer Dan Walsh further explained that the ban was introduced under the Water Service Act of 2007. â€œThe main purpose was to create awareness and get the cooperation of people to conserve water while the dry period continues.â€ People are asked not to water garden or wash cars while the ban is in place. â€œWeâ€™re just about managing,â€ Mr Walsh said.
The ban will last until August 13. It remains to be seen if the thunder showers of this week have alleviated the water reserve shortages.
Meanwhile, farming advisory group Teagasc have issued guidelines for the agricultural community to encourage grass growth, as some areas area already in a drought. See the article on Farming, page 32.