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RAIN-soaked Dubliners are in for a winter shock - a severe water shortage.

One million residents in the capital will face supplies being cut off, a drop in pressure AND water rationing within weeks.

Homes in Dublin city and county, as well as most of Kildare and North Wicklow will be hit by the `drought'.

The worst affected areas will face being cut off completely for at least part of each day from next Monday.

The fault lies with the city's ageing pipes which leak a staggering 40 million gallons of water a day, or 40 per cent of the city's total supply.

The dry spell will last for the next five weeks, Dublin City Corporation revealed yesterday.

The measures have been ordered to allow emergency repair work to be carried out on the Leixlip reservoir which supplies much of the capital's water.

"Water consumers can expect to experience reduction in water pressure and some problems with water supply," a Corporation spokesman said.

"We have introduced a water management regime for the period."

Certain areas of Dublin will be at higher risk of being affected.

The north east and south west will be hit on odd dates (23rd, 25th etc.) while the north west will go dry on even dates. South east Dublin will experience "periodic reductions" in water pressure.

The massive growth in Dublin is being blamed for the problems.

The supply is pumped into seven separate local authority areas in the greater Dublin area which needs a massive 100 million gallons a day.

Tom Leahy, Deputy City Engineer, said: ""During the critical four weeks we are appealing to residents and businesses to assist us by using less water.

"If everyone in the city used 10 per cent less water it would have a significant effect."

Some water saving tips are:

l Don't leave taps running

l Only run washing machines and dishwashers on full loads

l Switch off automatic flush systems at night

l Repair leaking taps

l Use showers instead of baths

The Corporation will to set up a special water helpline.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1999 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Feb 20, 1999
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