Environment Minister Edwin Poots is urging people to be smarter with the water they use while at home during this current dry spell, and to only use water for the areas it is needed; hygiene, hydration and household chores.
Supporting calls from NI Water and the Department for Infrastructure for urgent action from everyone to reduce their water usage immediately to preserve water supplies for everyone, Minister Poots said: “We must do everything we can to help NI Water conserve and protect our drinking water supply. It is vital for life, and it is critical that we have a sufficient supply of good quality water to protect public health and the environment. It is critical to our agri-food sector in ensuring the continued production of high quality food and to help our economy in recovering from the impacts of COVID-19.
“With the current period of hot weather and more people vacationing at home demand is outstripping supply in some areas. We need to ensure everyone has sufficient water for hygiene, hand washing and vital domestic needs.”
Minister Poots continued:“The protection of our waterways from pollution is critical to improving the quality of our lakes and rivers, which is the source of our drinking water in Northern Ireland. With continuing dry weather, the levels in the lakes and rivers is low and any pollution will have an increased impact. This will add to the pressures that the high demand is already placing on the environment and on Water Treatment Works that produce our drinking water.
“I am committed to working together across the Departments to ensure NI Water has the support needed to provide a safe, clean drinking water supply to the people of Northern Ireland.”
Notes to editors:
- The Met Office has issued an amber warning for extreme heat for Northern Ireland, which remains in place until Friday night.
- The ongoing dry weather we are experiencing is causing a significant reduction in the flows of water in our rivers. Our water resources are critical in ensuring continued sustainable food production and protection of public health and the environment.
- NI Water, DFI and DAERA have been monitoring the situation and assessing the potential impact on drinking water supply. Now more than ever, we as a society recognise the importance of good quality clean water, it is a vital resource in our daily lives, supporting our health and well-being particularly during these exceptional times.
- DAERA will continue to carry out pollution surveillance patrols alongside their normal 24/7 response to reports of pollution incidents across Northern Ireland in order to protect the quality of raw water for treatment
- DAERA is committed to working together across the Departments to ensure NI Water has the support needed to assist and enable their plans to provide a safe, clean drinking water supply to the people of Northern Ireland.
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