Drought in reservoir causing water outages for residents

By Róise Collins

THE Lough Mourne reservoir in the Finn Valley is experiencing drought conditions following the long period of very dry weather.

This has resulted in many residents facing water outages.


24 of the 711 water treatment plants nationwide are currently experiencing drought conditions, including Lough Mourne which is located between Ballybofey and Donegal Town.

The reservoir supplies a large part of the highly populated east Donegal.

A spokesperson from Uisce Éireann said that in the affected locations, customers will not have noticed any impact on their water supply to date.

However local councillor Patrick McGowan said this is not true, as residents in the Finn Valley have faced water outages “almost every day this last week”.

Despite recent upgrades the reservoirs in the area cannot keep up with the demand.

“This has been a constant battle the last five or six summers,” he added.

As well as the large population living in east Donegal, the area also boasts the largest farming area in the county.


In the summer months the large agricultural and dairy farms in the area increase their usage causing an even more significant pressure on the service.

The councillor emphasised that farmers are not to blame, as they pay by the litre for water.

Instead he said the problem lies with the smaller reservoirs that are feeding off the main reservoir, which need to be upgraded.

Uisce Éireann is reminding the public to continue to conserve water even as weather looks to become a more unsettled this week.

Tom Cuddy, Uisce Éireann’s Head of Asset Operations, emphasised the importance of water conservation throughout the summer.

He said, “We are seeing the impact of the long spell of dry weather on some supplies around the country. While there is some unsettled weather due in the short term, it will take a while for it to replenish those water sources with the ground being so dry.

“We are still asking customers to play their part in ensuring there is enough water for everyone as we go through the summer.

“Even small changes can make a significant difference,” he added.

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