Web Summit Main Stage  Photo: © Michael Fisher

Web Summit Main Stage Photo: © Michael Fisher

It was all very high-tech as around 10,000 visitors gathered in Dublin for the Web Summit at the RDS. Another 600 were at an IATA travel conference in the National Conference Centre. So imagine how the restaurants, pubs and similar businesses that open late to cater for guests felt when they were faced with overnight water restrictions amounting to a cut in supply between 8pm and 7am.

It’s because the infrastructure in place is old and needs to be replaced. Dublin City Council says that the extent of the leakage is largely owing to the age of the network, with an estimated 1200 kilometres of the network being over 50 years old. In addition to this demand can rise during a cold spell if taps are left running in an effort to prevent frozen pipes. The normal demand for water in the Dublin Region is 540 million litres per day. However during a cold spell demand can increase to a staggering 636 million litres. This means that the treated reservoirs such as the one at Ballymore Eustace in County Wicklow empty at a much faster rate than they can fill, which leads to a depletion of treated water storage reserves.

Anyway the main problem for delegates at the RDS appeared to be the breakdown in the wifi system upon which each visitor is so dependent to do business. It seems to have crashed temporarily owing to the large numbers attempting to sign in. Despite these difficulties, I’m sure plenty of networking was done and new contacts were made with potential investors for startups.

Invest Northern Ireland stand at Web Summit in RDS  Photo: © Michael Fisher

Invest Northern Ireland stand at Web Summit in RDS Photo: © Michael Fisher

One of the stands I visited was that of Invest Northern Ireland. Another was representing Berlin as a city to do business.

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