Irish Water has confirmed that consumption of water in the Greater Dublin area has reduced as households and businesses heed its message to conserve water and the measures it has taken to reduce water pressure at night time have kicked in.

The company said that a total of 578 million litres of water was consumed yesterday in the region, down from 615 million litres on Wednesday last week.

This is a 6% reduction from the peak and brings consumption to below the level that Irish Water says in can sustainably supply to the area.

However, Irish Water has said it is vital that people continue to heed the requests to conserve water as the effects of the dry spell are expected to continue for some time.

It said that water restrictions are now in place in 43 areas around the country and that supplies in 100 other areas remain at risk due to the impact of high demand in the face of a shortage of supplies.

Homeowners throughout the Leinster area face more restrictions on water use as a result of new measures announced by Irish Water today.

Consumers in counties Westmeath, Longford, Offaly and Laois have been warned to expect supplies to be cut off overnight or curtailed.

In Cork, the County Council said staff are monitoring water usage across all services, focusing in particular on any leaks within Council properties or extraordinary usage.

It confirmed that, from tonight, night time water restrictions are in place in Clonakilty and Crosshaven resulting in a reduction in water pressure.

Earlier, the President of the Irish Farmers' Association said grass growth was one third of the normal rate for this time of year as a result of the hot weather.

Joe Healy said the lack of growth was adding a lot of extra cost for farmers.

It comes as a Status Yellow advisory from Met Éireann remains in place, warning of drought or near-drought conditions for the entire country.

The advisory was issued last weekend and is in place until Friday.

Met Éireann said the country is on the brink of a nationwide drought and that no rainfall as been recorded at 24 of its 25 weather stations for the past 12 days.

Forecasters said that if the situation continued for three more days, the drought would officially be countrywide.

Mr Healy said farmers were having to use the extra fodder they had begun to replenish after last winter's supply was used up.

He said the growth for the second cut of silage was hampered with very little growth since the first cut took place two to three weeks ago.

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He said most farmers were not short of water as they had their own private wells or were connected to the main supply to ensure they have enough water for their animals.

Mr Healy said it was "an unprecedented year for this generation of farmers".

He said the winter season went up to May and while there were a few good weeks for grass growth and growth of cereals, it was too short.