Tuesday May 26th, 2020 Water Blog

A drop of water to quench the thirst


I take it for granted to be able to turn my kitchen tap on, and immediately I can get a nice cool glass of water to drink. I am always thinking about not wasting any water and the cost of treating every drop we drink and use.  At the moment I am using any wash water to put on my flowers.  No water being wasted, and no hoses being used.  So, this morning, as I came back from my walk, I headed for the tap for a nice cool glass of water, to find a brown liquid flowing. A strange feeling of dread crossed my mind. I have no bottled water.  The filter jug doesn’t remove all of the colour and whatever else is there in this brown liquid.

But I know that this is probably because of work being done on the distribution system and the supply will be back to normal soon – and it was. On this occasion.

Across Ireland water quality is not always as good as it should be and there are many reasons for that.  I think my vision of safe, secure water for everyone is not unattainable in Ireland. Think about the challenges elsewhere on the planet.

An unbelievable 70 percent of India’s water is contaminated, [1] impacting three in four people and contributing to 20 percent of the country’s disease burden.

Although Mexico City has more rainy days than London, it suffers shortages more in keeping with a desert, making the price of each litre of water among the highest in the world – despite its poor quality.[2] In the United States, Michigan has tested more than 1,700 public drinking water supplies for PFAS compounds. PFAS have been found at low levels both in the environment and in blood samples of the general U.S. population.[3] [4]


Water is such a necessary resource.  With increasing climate change impacts, there are greater stresses on it. This March the Irish Water Advisory Body (WAB) published its quarterly report. The WAB advise the Minister on measures needed to improve the transparency and accountability of Irish Water; and to report on a quarterly basis to an Oireachtas Committee on the performance by Irish Water in the implementation of its Strategic Funding Plan. A key finding by the WAB was their concern that Irish Water invest in capacity, resilience and operational practices to deliver continuing improvement in water supply quality and security.[5] It is so important to invest now in a resource that will strand the test of time.




[1] https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/10/water-pollution-in-india-data-tech-solution/

[2] https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2015/nov/12/mexico-city-water-crisis-source-sewer

[3] Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), sometimes called PFCs, are a group of chemicals that are resistant to heat, water, and oil. PFAS have been classified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as an emerging contaminant on the national landscape.

[4] https://eu.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2019/04/25/pfas-contamination-michigan-water/3301354002/

[5] https://wateradvisorybody.ie/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Final-WAB-Quarterly-Report-1-2020-updated-release.pdf

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