The Water Conservation Order – otherwise known as the national hosepipe ban – is to remain in place for 16 counties across the country, Irish Water has announced.

This follows a meeting of the Irish Water board earlier today (Tuesday, August 28) to assess the need to extend the current order, which will expire this Friday, August 31.

The ban has been lifted for the north-west of the country due to increased rainfall and conservation measures over the past two months.

However, it remains in place for counties: Dublin; Louth; Meath; Kildare; Kilkenny; Laois; Offaly; Westmeath; Carlow; Wicklow; Wexford; Waterford; Cork; Kerry; Limerick; and Tipperary.

The ban will now remain in place until Sunday, September 30.

According to Irish Water, the board considered detailed analysis of drinking water sources, including river flows and lake levels from engineering experts within Irish Water.

Reports from local authorities, including the hydrologist records of OPW (Office of Public Works) and the ESB and future weather forecasts were also considered.

According to the state utility body, in the south, the water supply remains very critical – especially in counties Cork, Limerick and parts of Kerry.

Hydrological reports show water levels to be stable or falling, despite recent rainfall. Irish Water is continuing with emergency measures and very close monitoring and contingency planning, the company added.