Irish Water says supply restrictions may remain for a "number of weeks, if not months"


23,000 people are still without water across Galway, Leitrim, Tipperary and Wexford this evening.

Around 40,000 remain on a restricted supply and a further 14,000 are on storm related Boil Water Notices.

Irish Water is urging people to conserve water where possible and is imposing restrictions from 8 pm to 6 am in Dublin, parts of Wicklow, Kildare and Meath.

Water interruption is expected to continue over a number of days as crews attempt to 'fix and find leaks.

Irish Water managing director Jerry Grant, 06-03-2018. Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews

Even after the restrictions were lifted it took a number of hours for supply to return to some homes. 

This afternoon the utility told the National Emergency Coordination Group that it is now considering a shorter time-frame of 8pm to 6am in order to ensure morning supply.

It said it has no option but to keep the restrictions in place in the area due to a continued deficit in the system.

Irish Water general manager Eamon Gallen said the utility was aiming to minimise the impact on customers by introducing the restrictions "out of hours at night, where possible."

"We will probably have to introduce restrictions for a number of weeks, if not months, to come," he said.

Demand increased nationally by up to 20% - or 60 million litres a day over the weekend.

The greater Dublin area saw an increase in demand from Friday to Sunday with storage in reservoirs significantly depleted.

File photo of the Poulaphouca Reservoir 

Hospitals on the network will be prioritised with water supply diverted to them, but other facilities have run dry.

Meanwhile, businesses in Dublin say they didn't receive adequate notice or information about water stoppages following Storm Emma.

Deborah Fortune of Hobarts Cafe in Ranelagh says they could have opened later and warned their customers if they knew what was happening in their area:

"I mean there should be a bit of courtesy there," she said.

"All we had to do was not open as early or I could have put in on Facebook or Twitter saying, 'guys we are going to be running a little late, no water, no coffee' - let the customers know.

"Because once people know, they are a little bit understanding.

"When they don't know, it is a nightmare."

Irish Water has said "significant progress" has been made to make necessary repairs at plants and fix bursts.

Members of the public are now being asked to conserve supply where possible.