No hosepipe ban in NI for time being as extreme weather warning issued

As temperatures in Northern Ireland continue to soar a hosepipe ban could be brought into force if demand for water continues to outstrip supply.

Tuesday, 20th July 2021, 4:57 pm
Updated Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 9:20 am

NI Water said yesterday afternoon that the situation was being closely monitored as it urged the public to reduce water usage to avoid shortages.

A spokesperson said: “At this point in time, NI Water is not introducing a hosepipe ban.

“The situation is however being closely monitored and if the demand we have seen in recent days continues, NI Water will have to consider the possibility of a hosepipe ban in order to protect water supplies.”

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(left to right) Twins Bella and Layla Hughes (4) with Annie Shepherd (2) and her brother Jude Shepherd (5) eating screwball ice creams at Helen's Bay beach in County Down, Northern Ireland. Picture date: Tuesday July 20 2021.

It comes as the Met Office has issued an amber weather warning over extreme heat in the Province.

The Met Office warning, which applies to all of NI, covers the period from 8am tomorrow until 11.59pm on Friday night. The warning comes with an appeal to watch out for heat exhaustion and sunburn.

Northern Ireland recorded a provisional record high temperature on Saturday, when the mercury hit 31.2C (88F) in Ballywatticock, close to Newtownards at 3.40pm.

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Previously, the highest temperature of 30.8C (87.4F) was recorded on July 12, 1983 and June 30, 1976.

But, it is possible the new record may be exceeded this week with the Met Office predicting that the temperature will rise above 30C (86F) on Wednesday and Thursday.

Alex Burkill, a meteorologist with the Met Office, said: “Temperatures for the next few days could get even hotter.

“Northern Ireland had its highest ever temperature on record on Saturday. It’s not out of the question that we beat that on Wednesday (today) or possibly Thursday (tomorrow).

“It’s not just the daytime temperatures that could cause problems, it’s also the overnight highs which could cause sleeping difficulties.”

As of 3.30pm yesterday afternoon he said the highest temperatures had been recorded at at Derrylin (27.8C), Thomastown (27.6C) and Glenanne (27.2C).

The nidirect government services website issued updated advice for people on staying safe in the sun.

It said: “Extreme heat can have health consequences, as well as increased traffic near coastal areas, increased use of water and an increase in wildfire risk.”

The website said extreme heat could also cause ongoing pressures on water resources and an increased chance that some heat-sensitive systems and equipment may fail, leading to power cuts and the loss of other services. It also warned that more people are likely to visit coastal areas, lakes and rivers in coming days, leading to an increased risk of water safety incidents.