Calls for Voluntary Water Conservation

By: Lisa Ferrari
By: Lisa Ferrari

September 27, 2005

You may remember the drought of 2002, and the sacrifices people and businesses had to make at that time. Tonight the city and county are taking measures to prevent that from happening again.

According to The National Weather Service there is a developing drought in our area. There are no water restrictions in place right now, but the county and city are now asking people and businesses to use water wisely, and voluntarily conserve.

"For a person who relies on water to run their business its pretty nerve racking," said Barton Dofflemeyer, Owner of The Dog House.

Dofflemyer needs water to run his pet grooming and boarding company. He knows how important it is to save water. His staff uses as little water as possible bathing pets. He often collects rain water to mop the floors.

"Hopefully that will help," said Dofflemyer.

Water conservation is key as climate experts predict we are at risk of falling into a drought. Our meteorologists also warn of dry conditions.

"We've only picked up .72 of an inch of rain. Normally it would be just shy of 4.25 inches. This is about 3.5 inches shy of where we normally should be for just this month. We're over 10 inches [short of where we should be] for the entire year," said Meteorologist Rod Cowan.

The water levels along the Rivanna River are visibly lower than what they have been, by what looks like at least a foot.

The city and county started airing TV ads today asking people to save water.

"We just want to encourage people to use water wisely," said Bill Brent, Executive Director of the Albemarle County Service Authority.

They say if we take steps now, we can make sure we don't run out of water. This could be devastating to people and businesses that rely on water to run every day.

"If we don't have water we don't have business," said Dofflemeyer.

The city and county want to make sure that The Dog House and other companies like that do not run out of water, so that they can operate safely. They are just asking folks to save water, as there are no mandatory restrictions in place but some ways you can help save water include:

-Take shorter showers
-Don't let the water run while brushing your teeth.
-Only wash full loads of laundry and dishes
-Water lawns and plants late in the evening to prevent water from evaporating
-Be sure to fix all water leaks.

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