The lack of precipitation the past few months has led to Manchester’s reservoirs dropping to only 80 percent of capacity, but the rainfall deficit dates back to May 2015.
As of Jan. 1, 2015, the state has only received a little over 60 inches of rain, leaving us more than 14 inches below where we should be. To help the town of Manchester get back on track, the water department has issued a water conservation alert and is asking residents and businesses to be aware of their water use.
“We’re not asking anyone to stop doing anything at this point,” Scott Shanley, general manager of Manchester, said. “But just to be thoughtful of -- how long is your shower? Do you have the water on when you’re shaving? Do you have to water the lawn today? Those kinds of things.”
Asia Boutot, a Manchester resident who has three children, said being mindful of water usage is second nature.
“You have to. You have to help the community and this town and we all should conserve water,” Buotot said.
Tony Falcetta is always cautious, having seen what extreme drought can lead to.
“I can think back to the days when water shortages put us on odd and even days, or odd and even dates. That wasn’t much fun,” Falcetta said. “You couldn’t use water when you wanted to use it.”
This is what the town of Manchester is trying to avoid.
“We are at 80 percent, so therefore we need to start thinking about it,” Shanley said. “I will be quite concerned if we get to 70, and then more concerned if we get to 60. But I’m hopeful we don’t get there.”
It's not just Manchester.
Aquarion Water Company is urging customers in Greenwich, Stamford, New Canaan and Darien not to water their lawns this week and to limit lawn irrigation for the remainder of the season.
Shanley said all it will take is a good inch or two of rain to get them back on track.
In the meantime, the water department will continue to monitor the level of the reservoirs and will lift the alert once the reservoirs have returned to normal capacity. That being said, if the drought continues and conditions become worse, the town will reassess the conservation efforts.