Water Saving Tips and Hose Pipe Ban

Starting today, June 9th and lasting for 6 weeks until July 21, Irish Water has brought in the National Water Conservation Order, also known as a hosepipe ban. According to Met Eireann May 2020 was the driest spring on record since 1850. Their data shows that temperatures were above average in nearly all areas and rainfall totals in every county were below average for the season, with the Greater Dublin Area, Westmeath, Sligo and Tipperary experiencing their driest spring on record. Of Irish Water’s 900 drinking water schemes, 27 currently are in drought and 50 are at risk of going into drought. The weather forecast is for a continuation of drier than normal conditions which will further exacerbate the situation. [1]

Hosepipe Ban:

The ban includes seven items that use of water drawn through a hosepipe or similar apparatus for the purpose of:

  1. Watering a garden

  2. Cleaning a private motor-vehicle using a domestic hosepipe

  3. Cleaning a private leisure boat

  4. Filling or maintaining a domestic swimming or paddling pool (except when using hand held containers filled directly from a tap)

  5. Filling or maintaining a domestic pond (excluding fish ponds)

  6. Filling or maintaining an ornamental fountain (with the exception of such use for commercial purposes)

  7. Filling or replenishing an artificial pond, lake or similar application.




Water Saving Tips:

While the extent of the ban is limited to house pipe use, there are things you can implement into your daily life that will help you to reduce your water consumption at home. These are easy tips, that before long will become habit.

  • Use a bowl in the sink when washing fruit, vegetables or dishes. You can then use the wastewater to water your plants.

  • Fill a jug of water and put it in the fridge for when you want a cool drink.

  • A dishwasher uses 12 litres of water per cycle. This is typically 70% less water compared to hand washing dishes.

  • The average household dishwasher will use 3000 litres of water per year, and hand washing dishes will use 10,500 litres per year.

  • Turn off the tap when you wash your hand or clean your teeth. A running tap uses up to 6 litres of water a minute.

  • Wait until you have a full load before using your washing machine or your dishwasher. Some new washing machines use less than 7 litres of water for each kilogramme of clothes, while modern dishwashers can use as little as 10 to 15 litres of water a cycle.

  • Take a shower instead of a bath. A five-minute shower uses about 40 litres of water. This is about half the volume of a standard bath.

  • Time your showers. An average shower uses 10 litres of water per minute. Taking a shorter shower will save lots of water.

  • If you are replacing any fixtures opt for low flow fixtures, nearly every manufacturer offers a selection. Alternatively, you can retrofit existing taps and showers with a restrictor or aerator. 

  • Use a water-saving device in your toilet cistern. Depending on the size of your cistern, you could save between 1 to 3 litres each time you flush the toilet.

  • Check your property regularly for leaks on your internal plumbing. You may be eligible for a free leak investigation and repair.  https://www.water.ie/for-home/first-fix/

  • Around one-third of all household water use is used for flushing the toilet. This can be reduced by 50% if dual-flush is used.

  • The average bath uses 80 litres of water. A five minute shower uses 65% less water and has less associated CO2 emissions

  • A power shower uses 65 litres of water every five minutes. An electric shower uses 23 litres every 5 minutes.

  • For bath/ shower combinations, it is likely that the shower will be used 60% of the time. This would lead to 400kgCO2 per persons annually.

  • Using a watering can in the garden instead of a sprinkler or a hosepipe. Garden sprinklers and hose pipes left running can use between 500 and 1,000 litres of water an hour, which is more than a family uses in a day

  • Water your plants in the early morning or late evening. This saves water evaporating and avoids scorching your plants too.

  • Add layers of plant material, like bark or straw, to your garden soil to help it retain more water.

  • Think about fitting a water butt to collect rainwater off your roof. Water butts usually store about 200 litres of water. As well as being better for watering your plants, using rainwater in the garden reduces the amount of treated water you use.


Lastly, we’ll leave with you Ricky Raindrop. Hana grew up in states like California and New Mexico where water conservation and drought conditions are part of daily life. As a child in school in Los Angelos, the rain had a name and it was Ricky Raindrop and we were taught how important it was to save him. So as kids my sister and I would always turn off the taps saying “Don’t waste Ricky Raindrop!” 30 years later, it's still stuck in my head.






References


[1]

Irish Water, “National Water Conservation Order issued to safeguard supply for essential purposes,” 8 June 2020. [Online]. Available: https://www.water.ie/news/nationwide-water-conserva/ .

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