Monday, 7 September 2009

The Great Rathlin Drought of 2009?

The Irish News ran a story last week entitled "Water shipped to island".

Here are some snippets from the September 2 article:

"NORTHERN Ireland Water (NIW) faced a wave of criticism last night after it emerged that it had been forced to ship thousands of gallons of water to residents of Rathlin Island."

"In 2004 ... a £400,000 mains water supply came into service."

[Was that the budgeted figure? Did the project not go over budget?]

"Over the August 31 bank holiday weekend NIW prepared for increased tourist numbers by shipping extra water to the island." ... NIW spokeswoman

[Has extra water been shipped at other periods of peak demand?]

"I’ve been told by residents on Rathlin that the pump from the island’s bore-well failed and that people were left without running water for large parts of the last two days," .. Cathal Newcombe, SF councillor

“Over the August bank holiday weekend a technical problem was identified with pumps on Rathlin Island.

“This resulted in the intermittent loss of supplies to a few customers directly linked to the pump.

“NIW provided bottled water to the properties affected where appropriate.” .. NIW spokeswoman

No mention has been made of an earlier problem with the newish Rathlin water supply:

Rathlin Island

8 January 2007 - incident lasted for three days

"Coliform bacteria failures in final waters at the water treatment works, service reservoir and in the water supply zone. Investigation by NI Water was unable to identify a specific reason."

Do the Rathlin boreholes have sufficient current capacity to meet the needs of the islanders, the tourists and the animals? There's been plenty of rain but is it getting through to the boreholes?