Value of water
By 2030, the world’s demand for water will exceed the available supply by 40 percent, and an estimated 2.8 billion people will be living in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity.
This morning, Clare County Council confirmed that the temporary prohibition at Spanish Point, Kilkee and White Strand Miltown Malbay has been lifted. That is good news, but Lahinch visitors will have longer to wait.
Ireland needs a water resilience plan to cope with events such as major flooding, long-term dry spells and pollution of water resources – like our beaches. The recent hose pipe ban across the country is like someone putting their finger in the dike to prevent a devastating flood. It is a short-term solution to a recurring problem. A long-term strategy for water management needs to be devised by Irish Water and the Department of the Environment to make our water policies resilient, sustainable and inclusive. I believe a plan is in preparation at the moment and will be out for public consultation in the autumn. It will be really important for people to engage with that consultation process, to try to get the best plan for the country’s water.
Meanwhile, everyone can play a significant role in managing water resources and the government can drive this by providing incentives. On a personal level we can change our practices by:
- installing a low-flow shower head or a mixer head;
- using water-saving devices in toilets, and, in a new toilet, making sure it is low or dual-flush;
- being aware of the water efficiency rating with a new dishwasher/washing machine;
- when building a new house, consider a water collection and reuse option in the same way as you would with an energy-efficiency option;
- using rainwater collection units for the garden.
I think that we need to understand the value of water, what is involved in providing it for daily use and how we can manage it togeth
 World Bank, “Water overview,” www.worldbank.org/en/topic/water/overview, accessed August 8 2020.
 World Bank, “Water and climate change,” http://water.worldbank.org/topics/water-resources-management/water-and-climate-change, accessed August 8 2020.