Irish Water urges customers to conserve water as restrictions are put in place
"Thousands and thousands of small leaks will need to be found and repaired in the days, weeks, and even months ahead."
Irish Water has urged consumers to conserve water in a bid to restore treated water reservoirs to normal levels.
Due to unprecedented demand owing to the severe weather over the past week, nightly restrictions will be put in place in the greater Dublin area from 7pm on Monday, 5 March until 7am the following morning.
The restrictions, which will likely lead to a loss of supply, will subsequently be reviewed on a daily basis, and the public is asked to check for regular updates through national and local media, on Irish Water's customer care Twitter account or by ringing 1850 278 278.
Irish Water has said that there are currently 10,500 households, businesses and farms across Ireland without a functioning water supply.
Customers in Cork, Galway, Kerry, Laois, Longford, Mayo, Westmeath and Wexford are currently experiencing water disruptions. Customers are advised to check www.water.ie to check on specific restrictions.
Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland on Monday, Managing Director of Irish Water Jerry Grant announced that he expects it could take months before water supplies are fully restored.
"We are in quite a serious situation now. I know that all the local authorities were out yesterday and found some quite big leaks," he said. "My concern is there are probably not enough big leaks; it's thousands and thousands of small leaks which will need to be found and repaired in the days, and indeed weeks and even months ahead.
"Because I think even to get back to the baseline leakage level which we had a week ago which wasn't satisfactory in this area where we only have two or three percent headroom at any one time, it means that we are under pressure now to manage pressure, to try and balance water between reservoirs so we can keep all areas of the region supplied and hopefully not have significant outages of water."
While Irish Water say that they will make "every effort possible" to maintain pressures during peak demand periods, pressures will be reduced during the times indicated, resulting in lower pressures and loss of supply.