Water shortages have forced some farmers to cut back on water use, with some cutting back on watering crops.
In the southern Irish county of Kildare, farmers are cutting water use by more than half compared to last year.
In a recent report, the Farmers Association of Ireland (FAI) said water use in the county was down to about 5% of annual consumption.
“We have lost about 3,000 litres of water over the past 12 months,” said FAI chief executive Alan O’Connor.
“This is the largest reduction in water use since we started recording this data in 2012.”
The average farmer used about 1,800 litres of freshwater a day in 2014 and now they are down to 700 litres.
“He said farmers are increasingly relying on water from other sources, particularly from a nearby reservoir.”
If they are not using it, they are wasting it.
It is becoming more and more difficult to water crops and we are seeing the effect on people,” he said.
Farmers’ group in south KerryThe FAI said the situation in South Kerry has become a national crisis.”
It is a situation where farmers are in a very difficult situation,” said Mr O’Donnell.”
People are struggling to meet their water needs.
It’s a situation we cannot afford.
“He urged farmers to conserve water and stop watering their crops until the problem is sorted.”
I urge farmers to reduce their water use,” he added.”
When it is not being used properly, the water is being wasted.
“He also urged people to make water-saving measures, particularly with their children, as well as avoiding watering their lawns and gardens.”
Farmers are being asked to do more, and we’re not seeing that they are,” he warned.
Farmer protestIn Northern Ireland, farmers’ groups are staging a series of protest events to try to stop the cuts.
Mr O’Leary said the farmers were not being given enough information.”
They are being told it is a one-off event, it’s just a demonstration.
It could be anything,” he explained.”
But what is happening is farmers are being put off their water.
“Farmers in Ireland are among those facing water restrictions, with the Irish Water Authority (IWA) announcing a new water restrictions regime on Thursday, which will see water usage capped at 25 litres per person per day.
A number of Irish Water sources have warned farmers to stop watering crops, and Mr O’son said farmers in Northern Ireland are being left behind by the cuts they face.”
Northern Ireland is being hit especially hard,” he told the Irish Times.”
Water has to be used for agriculture, so farmers have to take care of their water,” he insisted.”
There is an imbalance in the system, there is a shortfall in the water system.
Water has to come from elsewhere.
“He added that farmers were now being told to conserve more water.”
Many of them are not being told they have to conserve and that they can’t do it.
There is no option other than to conserve,” he pointed out.
The Irish Times contacted Water Ireland, but a spokesman said it did not comment on pending legislation.”
As a matter of policy, we do not comment specifically on pending Legislation,” he wrote.
Water Minister Richard Bruton told the broadcaster that farmers in the north are being “pushed back” to their old ways, and farmers were being “pulled further back” in Northern France.”
All the farmers in France are very happy with what they have seen in terms of the water policy in Ireland, the farmers are working hard to reduce water use and to reduce the amount of water that they use.
“I don’t see why they are being pushed back to their original areas,” he admitted.
Mr Bruton has previously spoken of the need for farmers to be able to cut water use when conditions allow.