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Water orders jump as Bermuda High takes hold

Water suppliers warned residents to check their tanks and conserve as continuing dry weather spurs demand — with orders likely to peak around the upcoming Cup Match holiday.

Requests for water deliveries surged “tremendously” over the past month, according to supplier David Marshall, of Smith’s.

“It’s picking up with people calling from all over and running out,” he said. “People are not checking their tanks, making it a water emergency. We can only do the best we can for them.”

Dio Seymour, of the West End supplier AguaXpress, reported a waiting list of about 40 customers.

“I’ve got a long list of clients waiting for water,” he said, urging residents to “be cautious” with their usage.

“Sometimes people neglect the fact that rain isn’t coming.”

According to the Bermuda Weather Service, the island’s skies are dominated at present by the Bermuda-Azores body of high pressure.

Clear skies and high humidity are forecast this week, with dry conditions expected to persist through to the Cup Match holiday.

Mr Seymour, who operates out of Sandys, said yesterday: “Demand is very high right now — it seems there’s no sign of rain.

“We would definitely encourage our clientele to check their water, make sure they have sufficient water, and order in advance so they don’t get caught out.

“Normally we might have had a break by this time.

“Right now it seems the reason is running really long. We haven’t had sufficient rain.”

Nuri Latham, of Triton Water Service, echoed the warning.

“Do not wait to check your tank,” he said. “Especially not with Cup Match coming. Cup Match is more important to people than Christmas.”

He described his business as “a smaller company” compared with “the more established guys”, with multiple water truck delivery drivers running up to 20 hours a day to meet the need.

“It’s high demand but that’s relative to a dry summer. It’s been really busy for me.”

Mr Latham added that so far this month he had been able to meet orders in about 24 hours.

Michelle Pitcher, acting director of the Bermuda Weather Service, said April through June had run “a bit dry” with rainfall recorded at 3.8in, 3.5in and 3.7in, respectively — leaving the island “on the dry side for the year”.

“While we normally receive about 5in of precipitation in July, so far we are rather dry with only 0.81in recorded at the airport,” she said.

“Aside from a few troughs and a weak cold front that brought showers earlier this month, our weather pattern has been dominated by a strong Bermuda-Azores high pressure.

“This feature is not unusual this time of year and brings sunny and dry conditions. A quick look at the outlook ahead shows that the high is expected to remain in place into the Cup Match holiday.”

Ms Pitcher added that there could be a reprieve.

“We are coming into our wetter time of the year so once the Bermuda-Azores High begins to break down, there will be plenty of opportunity for this year’s rainfall to catch up to our normal.”

Lieutenant-Colonel Allan Rance, chief executive of Bermuda Waterworks in Devonshire, said that demand for water was “trending up”.

“We are not under undue stress,” he added. “In fact, our weekly flows out were higher in late June prior to the 1in of rain we received three weeks ago.”

Colonel Rance said the company anticipated that demand “will continue to trend up until Cup Match if we have no rain before, and then there will be a significant drop-off over the four-day weekend”.

He added: “Our reservoirs remain at reasonable levels, and we expect that over the Cup Match weekend we will fill them and cut back production.

“After Cup Match, we will have to see how our weather plays out. As soon as it rains, demand will plummet.”

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Published July 22, 2022 at 7:56 am (Updated July 22, 2022 at 7:44 am)

Water orders jump as Bermuda High takes hold

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