New water conservation regulations have been signed into law which aim to stop wastage or excessive consumption of water in times of drought and water shortages. The Regulations came into effect on 15 December 2008.

Where serious water shortages are imminent, water service authorities may make an order prohibiting or restricting the use of water supplies for watering gardens, recreational parks or sports grounds, washing cars and trailers (including by commercial car wash facilities), filling or replenishing swimming pools, ponds and lakes and irrigating or spraying crops.

It is an offence to contravene a conservation order and a person may immediately be fined €125. Failure to pay within 21 days will result in a prosecution and possible fines of up to €5,000.