Drought alert declared in Kingston

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Kingston drought alert: Take shorter showers

KINGSTON – The City of Kingston has declared a drought alert for all city water customers. During a drought alert, water customers are asked to voluntarily conserve water whenever possible.

The drought alert is the first stage of the water department’s response plan for combating decreasing water level in the Cooper Lake reservoir. To accommodate the mandated construction work for the Cooper Lake Dam Rehabilitation Project, the level at the Cooper Lake Reservoir was lowered 10 feet below maximum capacity last July. This level must be maintained for the duration of the dam construction, which, in combination with the lack of recent rainfall and warmer weather, has caused the reservoir level to continue to drop.

“Please take a minute to think about how you can conserve,” said Water Department Superintendent Matthew Dysard. “Simple suggestions include taking shorter showers, running dishwashers and washing machines only when full, repairing leaky faucets and toilets, and turning off the faucet while shaving, soaping hands, and brushing teeth. While conserving is voluntary at this stage, if the reservoir continues to drop, mandatory restrictions could be imposed. To avoid that situation, please do whatever you can to conserve.”

“Even with the recent storm, our water levels remain low at the reservoir. We knew this could happen during the Cooper Lake Dam project, and had prepared a Drought Emergency Plan,” said Mayor Steven Noble. “The current Drought Alert is Phase 1 of that plan, and we are following a procedure already set into place. We ask all of our residents to be conscientious during this time and conserve as much water as possible.”