People could be fined for filling a paddling pool

A hosepipe ban is now in operation in the Greater Dublin area as Irish Water calls urgently on the public to conserve water.

Production plants are struggling to meet increasing demand as drought conditions take a grip around the country,

39 water supplies are under night-time water restrictions and over 100 are at risk.

From today, Dubliners will be fined for using a hosepipe to water their garden, wash their car, or fill their children's paddling pool - and that could be extended beyond the capital within days, as Irish Water urgently appeals to the public to conserve water as much as possible and avoid unnecessary use.

It's been dry for the past 4 months, with Met Éireann reporting rainfall on par with 1976 when the country suffered a major drought.

The Water Conservation Order for Dublin will be in place for the whole of the month, but Irish Water already says it may have to extend that, to protect longer term supplies in late summer and autumn.