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Ancram CAC urges water conservation

ANCRAM — With summer temperatures on the rise and the forecast predicting more days of sun than rain, Ancram residents have been advised by their town’s Conservation Advisory Council (CAC) to be mindful of their water usage this summer in order to minimize the impact of the current drought conditions.

Included in a recent e-newsletter issued by the town of Ancram, the CAC reminded residents there’s been an absence of rainfall in the last few weeks and that Ancram’s population has grown since this past April.

“We have a very unusual drought situation going on because we had a severe shortage of rainfall quite early in the season,” stated Ancram CAC member Kim Tripp. “To have one that essentially started in May and ran through June is really unusual — it’s much more common for us to have droughts and short periods of droughts later in the summer, and it’s much harder on the plants, the crops and the animals that depend on the rainfall.”

On top of the drought’s impact on local crops and livestock, Tripp pointed out that the town has a lot of people who have and use wells for their water supply. By asking people to be conservative with their water usage, she said there’ll be less of a demand overall on both the aquifers and the regional water supply, ensuring everyone will have an adequate supply over the season. 

While there’s no telling how long these drought conditions may last, Tripp said the CAC anticipates an unusually hot and dry summer this year and residents will most likely need to be conscious of their water usage through the summer into early fall.

As far as what people can do to conserve water, Tripp recommended, among other suggestions, taking shorter showers; running washing machines and dishwashers with a full load instead of a partial load; and turning off faucets and hoses tightly and checking for water leaks. She also advised residents water their plants either in the early morning or at the end of the day to minimize evaporation and maximize water contact with the soil. And, she said, keep in mind that the water supply is finite, even if one has a well.

“When you turn on the tap or take a shower or turn on the hose, just think what is essential and what’s luxurious,” Ancram CAC Chair Jamie Purinton advised.

The CAC also reminded residents in its e-newsletter of the increased risk of fire due to the current drought conditions. To that end, it urged residents not to burn landscape waste and to make sure to “dispose of cigarette ends by completely extinguishing them before discarding.” 

Residents are also urged to use extreme caution when using their fire pits and barbecues and to always have a water hose nearby.

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