2007-10-18 / Editorial

Here we go again


Jamestown is yet again facing a potential water crisis. The low water level in the North Pond reservoir has town officials expressing concern. Months of below-average rainfall have led to "moderate drought conditions."

The town is currently pumping water from the South Pond reservoir to North Pond. Town officials estimate that, without significant rain in the near future, we have about a three-month supply of water on hand.

If the island's water supply becomes critically low, the town could purchase water from North Kingstown and transport it to the island through an emergency flexible pipeline that is now in storage.

Conservation continues to be the key to stretching our island's water resources. However, Jamestowners are doing a good job in that department. Islanders use an average of 37 gallons per person, compared to 70 gallons per individual statewide.

Outside water usage is already banned. Those on the municipal water system are prohibited from watering their lawns or washing their houses, cars and boats.

Water shortages are not new to Jamestown. Limited rainfall has been blamed for low reservoirs levels at various times during the past two centuries.

Most recently, the town turned to the National Guard in 1993 to truck water to the island. The water trucks began dumping water in the North Pond in September 1993 and continued into December of that year when an emergency water pipeline across the old Jamestown Bridge was completed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The pipeline was dismantled when the old bridge was demolished.

So keep conserving water. Hope for rain.

- Jeff McDonough

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