Demand for water surges across Northern Ireland as heatwave continues

There's been a 20% rise in the demand for water in just three days in Northern Ireland with NI Water saying there is cause for concern.

NI Water says that while its reservoirs are averaging around three-quarters full, treatment plants are running at almost capacity.

"Demand is the real issue at the minute," says Maynard Cousley of NI Water.

"Demand has gone from about 600million litres a day up to about 720m litres a day across Northern Ireland."

Mr Cousley says water treatment plants are working at, or near, their capacity.

"That means we can't really get any more water treated.

"We've no plans to introduce any restrictions or any hosepipe bans, all we're asking our customers to do is to use water wisely," he said.

With a break in the dry spell due on Sunday, there are concerns for potential flooding.

"Because the ground is dried up, if we do then get thunderstorms, as is forecast for the latter part of the weekend, the rain runs off like concrete and there could be localised flooding," said Mr Cousley.

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