News Feature

Originally published in Island Ad-Vantages, July 19, 2018
Water conservation urged in Stonington

by Faith DeAmbrose

It might be difficult to think of an island and then imagine it suffering from a lack of water but that is the case in Stonington as the town asks its residents and visitors to conserve what they can in light of a drought that has plagued the area since last year.

Water resources have been at issue in Stonington for a number of years. An antiquated (and leaky) infrastructure, which is being upgraded, along with unexplained and well-documented water loss have caused reserves to dwindle. Matters have been made worse by a lack of rain, now in its second year, causing Stonington’s board of selectmen to authorize the purchase of water, should the water company need it. Purchasing water is a last resort, said Town Manager Kathleen Billings, noting that while water is not expensive, the trucking to the island is.

Citing a drop in stored water in the town’s standpipe, Water Company officials are asking the public for help to reduce the amount of water used. A public notice, published last week in the Island Ad-Vantages, recommends ways to conserve water including:

• Turn off the water when not in use.
• Limit use of water for irrigation purposes.
• Reduce the amount of water used when conducting normal household tasks.
• Reduce the amount of water used at restaurants and other commercial businesses by communicating with personnel on the importance of conservation.
• Minimize car washing and cleaning of outside buildings or other uses of water which can wait until the shortage is over.
• Report all wasteful water uses observed to the Water Company.

“There are another three weeks of high season,” said Billings, and then the demand will lessen. And while July 17 finally brought some rain, it will take a lot more than that to recharge the water table, she said.