‘Drought alert’ for city wa­ter cus­tomers

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - Free­man staff

KINGSTON >> A “drought alert” was is­sued Fri­day for cus­tomers of the city wa­ter sys­tem due to the fall­ing wa­ter level in Kingston’s main reser­voir.

The ac­tion by the Kingston Board of Wa­ter Com­mis­sion­ers calls on cus­tomers to vol­un­tar­ily con­serve wa­ter.

Cooper Lake in the town of Wood­stock, the prin­ci­pal stor­age reser­voir for Kingston, was at 75 per­cent ca­pac­ity on Fri­day, ac­cord­ing to a press re­lease from the city. The av­er­age for this time of year is 85 per­cent, the city said.

“While we be­gan Septem­ber at nor­mal lev­els, a sig­nif­i­cant lack of rain­fall dur­ing the month caused the reser­voir to drop three feet dur­ing that month,” the press re­lease stated.

At the cur­rent level, there is suf­fi­cient wa­ter in the reser­voir to sup­ply all cus­tomers for the next 170 days, even with­out sig­nif­i­cant rain­fall, the re­lease said. The con­ser­va­tion re­quest is in­tended to make the sup­ply last longer.

To con­serve wa­ter, the city sug­gests peo­ple take shorter show­ers, run dish­wash­ers and wash­ing ma­chines only when full, re­pair leaky faucets and toi­lets, and turn off faucets while shav­ing, soap­ing hands and brush­ing teeth.

Wa­ter con­ser­va­tion dur­ing a “drought alert” is strictly vol­un­tary, but ev­ery bit helps, the city said.

Kingston is­sued a more se­ri­ous “drought warn­ing” in Au­gust 2012, when the wa­ter level in Cooper Lake fell to 65 per­cent of ca­pac­ity. That warn­ing later was es­ca­lated to a “drought emer­gency” that was lifted in Oc­to­ber of that year, when the reser­voir reached 70 per­cent ca­pac­ity.

Be­fore 2012, the last time the city de­clared a “drought emer­gency” was 1980.


Cooper Lake in Wood­stock, the main reser­voir for the city of Kingston, is shown on Thurs­day.

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