Possible Drought?

By: Marcus Washington
By: Marcus Washington

April 4, 2006

A recent string of dry weather has those monitoring the local water supply urging residents to be cautious. If current conditions don't change, some of the springtime activities could have limits. It has been dry in our area for some time, and although we are not yet in a drought, people might have to think twice about watering their plants as well as washing their cars

It's probably safe to say that you've noticed that we haven't received much rain in our area lately. Current conditions have caused some dams in our area to stop spilling. According to Executive Director of Rivanna Water and Sewer Authorities, the Charlottesville area is not in serious danger of a drought at this time, but they are keeping a close eye on our area's water fall.

"If we get some decent rainfall in the next 30 to 45 days, it will certainly improve our conditions, said Tom Frederick, Executive Director Rivanna Water and Sewer Authorities. “If it remains abnormally dry we could be facing a drought this year."

"We do want to be proactive because we do want to make sure that if it is necessary to move into drought measures, that they're done early enough that they can be effective," he added.

Abnormally dry conditions are to blame for the decline in water flow in our area’s rivers and streams. That's causing the water to stop spilling in two local dams, Sugar Hollow and Ragged Mountain. This is keeping other authorities on the lookout.

"When we head into a dry period, especially a drought, we work jointly with the county and the University and the Water Authority to offer advice and get people to take water measures that will make a difference," said Charlottesville Spokesperson Ric Barrick.

The Rivanna Water and Sewer Authorities say that we shouldn't worry quite yet. Charlottesville area's driest year was in 2002.

If you are looking for ways to voluntary conserve water, visit www.charlottesville.org.

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