One step back from the brink
If you’ve been tracking the Water System’s daily tank levels on our website, or if you’ve noticed the new tank levels sign in downtown Inverness, you may be wondering what it means that our tank levels have been hovering at around 90% full.
Does it signal that we’re now in Fat City waterwise? That the water shortage is all but over? That we can go back to our normal usage patterns?
It is great news that you, our customers, have reduced your usage to the point that we are keeping our tanks almost full. But “almost full” isn’t all the way full. And that’s because the streamflows aren’t giving us enough water to get all the way to 100%. In normal times, we assume that at some point each day (usually in the middle of the night) we will fill the tanks up. It’s been months since we’ve been able to do that.
Historically, customer demand at this time of year would be around 89,000 gallons a day. Today, it’s down to just 49,000 gallons a day – an amazing drop of 45 percent! But that 49,000 gallons – all that is available – is just enough so that we are managing to squeeze by.
The bottom line is that you’ve all done an excellent job of keeping the demand for water within our very constrained capability to keep the system going.
When you see on the website (invernesspud.org), or on the sign downtown, that the tanks are at 89%, or 90%, or 91% full, it’s OK to feel a bit of pride in how well our community has responded to the drought crisis. But also remember that we have to keep it up because we’ve pulled only one step back from the brink.
ADDITONAL NOTE: Supporting the water shortage does not mean you should be sacrificing your essential needs, such as hygiene especially. If you need a shower or a bath, take it! If the toilet needs to be flushed, flush it! If the clothes need to be washed, wash them (will the short cycle work?). Take care of yourself and your family. We just ask that you be water wise whenever you use water. If we all pull together, we have a good chance of getting through this without having to resort to the nuclear option of rationing.