Dry weather prompts water request

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By Melanie Lekocevic

Capital Region Independent Media

Dry conditions and low levels in the Alcove Reservoir have prompted a request that homeowners refrain from using lawn sprinklers until conditions improve. Melanie Lekocevic/Capital Region Independent Media

RAVENA — A dry summer with little rainfall has prompted a request from Mayor Bill Misuraca — ease up on the sprinklers.

The mayor made the request at the village board’s Aug. 2 meeting as a result of a long dry summer with lower rainfall numbers than usual.

On average, the Capital Region gets about 4.55 inches of rain in a typical July. This year, the area only received 1.45 inches of precipitation, more than 3 inches lower than usual, according to the National Weather Service in Albany.

Misuraca stopped short of issuing official restrictions on water usage.

“We are not at water restrictions yet, but I would ask on a voluntary level if everyone could ease up on the sprinklers,” Misuraca said. “Hand watering is fine. If you want to wash your car or pressure wash your house, it’s all totally fine but when you plug a sprinkler in and just let it blast for 10, 12 hours, it really does a number on our water plant.”

The village’s water supply, which comes from the Alcove Reservoir, has lower levels than normal this month due to reduced amounts of rainfall. There was also less snow than usual this past winter, which also impacts water levels.

“The Alcove is very low,” Misuraca said. “I see no need to get into the danger zone with the way this weather has been. If you could, please be cognizant that we are in August, these are the ‘dog days,’ and we are going to need to be smart about the water, so please keep that in the back of your head.”

Ravena isn’t the only area municipality asking for residents to voluntarily conserve water. The village of Coxsackie issued a similar alert Aug. 9.

“A voluntary water restriction has been implemented at the recommendation of the water superintendent,” Coxsackie Mayor Mark Evans said in a statement. “Like many other communities, our reservoir is down, with the lack of significant snowfall last winter and the current dry condition we have been in. This is a precautionary move at this time.”

The state on Aug. 16 also issued an updated drought watch due to dry conditions this summer. Albany County is on the list of counties being asked to conserve water.

“While recent rains have helped, severe dry conditions continue to persist across the state,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said Wednesday. “New Yorkers should take steps to conserve water whenever possible in the areas now under a designated drought watch. Simple steps to reduce water consumption will be crucial to our efforts to help prevent any increased drought levels.”

Hochul also encouraged residents using private groundwater wells to conserve water where possible.

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