Water Restrictions Possible in Future

Local News

We’ve had beautiful weather this summer, but the dry conditions are beginning to spark conversations about water conservation. 

“I have never in my life seen this river this low,” says Jim Pfiffer, Executive Director of Friends of the Chemung River.

“There’s a possibility if we don’t have rain in a couple weeks we could have a warning, a drought warning,” says Mark LaDouce, General Manager of the Elmira Water Board.

It’s no secret that we’ve been experiencing an unusually dry summer, but if these conditions continue it could mean changes for you at home.

“Generally most years measuring April through September, at this point we would have had about twice as much precipitation,” LaDouce says.

“We’re down precipitation wise quite a bit. And if this continues it’ll squeeze, squeeze us quite a bit,” he says.

“As of yet they have not announced a drought watch. In a drought watch condition we would be asking customers for a 15% voluntary reduction or so,” LaDouce says.

Not only do people have to be mindful of the lower water levels, it’s also creating a ripple effect in the river’s ecosystem.

“And most people don’t realize that, the big effect it has on the rest of the wildlife as well,” Pfiffer says.

“A lack of water means there’s less plants and animals for other animals to feed on. So we’re seeing more bears, rattlesnakes, porcupines, skunks people are reporting them all because instead of hanging out within a one mile square area there’s no food there anymore,” Pfiffer says.

“So they’re going elsewhere they’re going to peoples yards. Wildlife is moving into ranges that they normally wouldn’t go as well,” hey says.

Though we’ve had some rain showers over the past few weeks that won’t be enough to combat these extremely dry conditions. We’ll need several weeks of consistent rain to do that.

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