Yesterday evening, Dublin City Council published on their webblog and sent a single tweet that they were implementing water restrictions in Dublin for the weekend, starting last night.
I didn’t find out about this until this morning and from what I can see, a significant number of people likewise only found out this morning. After the restrictions had started. There really was not a whole lot of notice, and not only that, the notice is unclear on what time the daily restrictions end. Either it is 7am or it is 9am, and you may have water, or you may not have water. Your water pressure may drop.
This is in response to an increase in demand thanks to an increased number of leaks.
I have some trouble with this. Water demand from users is probably not changing a whole pile. Water getting wasted by leaks is not water demand, it’s water wastage.
Being honest, I did wonder – given the city’s previous massive problems in the area of water supply post snow events 2 years ago – whether we would have any serious issues given the last couple of days. Being even more honest, I would have to say I don’t think it was that cold that sustained for that long so cannot see why we should have had similar problems. But we do and the restrictions went in place without a lot of people knowing about them.
I follow Dublin City Council on twitter but I am not on twitter 24-7 and I follow circa 2000 accounts on twitter. A single solitary tweet is likely to get lost; it’s as simple as that. For something like this, I really think that Dublin City Council needs to repeat that tweet every single hour until they are finished with water restrictions. Toyota have managed to tell me that Katie Taylor likes singing in her car several times lately and I don’t even follow Toyota.
609 people have email alerts from Dublin City Council. About 14,000 people follow them on twitter. I’ve signed up for the email alerts (service which I did not know was available) in the hope that in the future, I’ll know about these things sooner rather than later. That email alert might be way better than their twitter feed for timely information, or possibly their RSS feed.
If I were Dublin City Council, however, I would certainly look at how effective a single tweet is going to be in terms of getting a major announcement out, simply because twitter time lines are so time sensitive. It is not a big deal – or should not be a big deal – to re-announce these things every few hours.