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Dry spell brings increased demand for water

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Dry weather has led to increased demand on water sellers, with some residents eagerly waiting for rain.

Despite an extremely wet January, the island has fallen into drought since then — including the second driest April since 1949 — leaving many residents with dry tanks.

Alan Rance of Watlington Waterworks said the company had seen a large increased demand in their piped water service owing to the long stretch of dry weather.

“At the moment we are seeing, in piped water, between 900,000 and 1 million gallons of water being distributed through our system per day,” he said. “When it rains, we have seen it drop by at least 100,000 gallons a day.

“If it rains a great deal and people's tanks fill up, we can see that drop to 600,000 gallons.”

He said that while shorter bouts without rain rarely impact water sales, longer stretches like the one the island experienced since February can lead to sharply rising demand.

And while water truckers have been hard at work, some have expressed concerns about the lack of water being made available.

According to Dexter Swan, owner of Latter Rain Water Service, the plant on North Shore was down for two hours.

“So, we've got the head of the water plant here and we put the question to him but he seemed to not know that the plant has been running out of water for a month. They came on the news and denied that the plant is actually running out of water for a month.

“As of 10 o'clock, the plant is currently down now on North Shore, but it's been down now for two hours.”

He added that “they are here now trying to see what mechanical issues” there are.

Some relief is expected in the form of rain in the coming days.

In addition to occasional bouts of wet weather yesterday, the Bermuda Weather Service has forecast rain for both today and Sunday as areas of low pressure are expected to pass over the island.

Water outage at North Shore water facility. (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published May 12, 2017 at 9:00 am (Updated May 12, 2017 at 8:36 am)

Dry spell brings increased demand for water

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