Clare Fine Gael TD Joe Carey has said today that the Minister For Environment must do more to ensure local communities are made aware of issues related to water shortages.

In recent weeks several Clare constituents have contacted Deputy Carey concerned at the water hose pan in Clare and potential shortages over the coming months.

The farming community, in particular, is concerned that not enough provision are being implemented for water shortages.

Deputy Carey said: “Several persons have been in touch expressing concern that not enough is being done to communicate issues surrounding water shortages with local communities. While the Dublin media may be well informed, there is a concern that in Counties like Clare, government is not giving enough information or financial resources to get the message out there in relation to water. There is a hosepipe ban in place for businesses and householders now for the coming month. It affects areas such as Ennis, Clarecastle, Barefield, Crusheen, North Clare and Tulla, as well as those connected to group water schemes in those areas. Anyone breaching this ban could face prosecution or a fine.

There is concern that this information is not being communicated well enough locally. I would encourage Clare County Council to ensure that they engage with both print and radio media in Clare to get the message out over the coming months. There are many ways we can work together as a community to preserve water supply, such as restricting off peak hours, and ensuring should shortages ensure, that there is provision for water tankers and the like.

In his reply to me Minister Gormley confirmed that he is writing to all local authorities to inform them of their obligations to communicate these matters. Ye with budgets tight, my concern is that local authorities are having difficulty putting together media budget to communicate these issues.

There is a duty on all of us to use water wisely over the coming weeks, particularly if the good weather continues. Yet public awareness is key I believe to sensible water use. In order for that awareness, local authorities need budgets for media and public information campaigns. Minister Gormley cannot just issue decrees from his office in Dublin. He needs to engage very directly with the concerns and pressure facing local communities and group water schemes in areas like County Clare.”