Water shortage looming
Officials at Blaine Public Works and Birch Bay Water and Sewer District are expressing concern that a prolonged period of sunny weather is causing demand to outstrip available supply.
June rainfall was almost 60 percent below normal, with a similar trend forecast for July. Storage levels in city and district reservoirs have been dropping due to surging demand, with an estimated 5.5 million gallons of water being used in the two communities over the last weekend.
At the beginning of the week, the district’s available storage had dropped 30 percent, indicating that demand is exceeding supply. City storage levels have been dropping as well. The city and district need to keep water in storage so that large quantities are available to put out fires or deal with loss of supply in an emergency interruption.
To help manage the summer demand, the city and district are asking their customers to water wisely. Outdoor watering is the cause of most of the overuse during the summer, accounting for about 40 percent of the total used during peak periods. City and district conservation staff offer the following suggestions for reducing water use:
•Avoid over-watering your lawn. You only need one inch of water per week - including rainfall - to keep your lawn green.
•Pick up a free rain gauge by contacting Blaine Public Works or the district office and use it to keep accurate track of your watering.
•Consider allowing your lawn to go dormant during the summer. It will bounce back with cooler fall weather and more abundant rainfall.
•If you’re washing your car, use a nozzle and turn the water off when not in use.