Category: Canada Published on Tuesday, 17 July 2012 10:34 Written by Stephen PateRain has fallen below 30% for three months with no end in sight
Charlottetown and PEI in general is having its worst summer in decades for heat without rain.
As of July 15th, Charlottetown has only received 4.25&Prime (108 mm) of rain since May.
Normally, 9&Prime (230 mm) of rain would have fallen in the same time.
Noah Clements and all the other children who like to play in the fountain on Victoria Row will be disappointed unless rain starts falling, which is not in the forecast.
Normally, the street fountain on Victoria Row bubbles with water for children most of the day and evening. Not this summer.
The City of Charlottetown is contemplating water restrictions to stop residents from washing cars and driveways, watering lawns and gardens.
“We need to reduce the strain on the Winter River Watershed,” said Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee. “Our Parks and Recreation and Urban Beautification departments have already reduced watering by 50 per cent and are only watering annual plants as needed. To support plant watering, the City will use a well that isn’t part of the municipal water supply, along with any water that’s left in our rain barrels, for filling water trucks and tanks. In addition, we are no longer washing any of the City vehicles, and our Fire department has agreed to hold off on training activities involving water until conditions aren’t so dry.” (City of Charlottetown)
That may not be enough. Coun. Eddie Rice told CBC “with the lack of rain the city’s water supply is reaching a crisis point. Rice has asked all city departments to eliminate unnecessary water use, and he’s asking residents to do their part.”
“We’ve got this ingrained habit that our car has to be kept scrubby clean,” said Rice.
In Kings County PEI some potato farmers are facing crop failure due to the drought. On a swing through Central Kings two weeks ago, field after field had rows of missed potato plants. Fields in Queens country did not seem to be affected as badly.
Rivers and streams in the Winter River and Tracadie are drying up under the current heat and drought conditions. CBC reported that the streams are emptying of fish as they dry up.Affecting Eastern Canada
PEI is not alone in the heat and dry weather. The Maritimes, Quebec and Ontario are getting the double whammy of heat and no rain.
“I’d call it a drought, no question about it,” David Phillips told the CBC.
“Besides the lack of precipitation, there is just this hot weather and it’s like a double whammy,” Phillips said. “There’s no rain and all that heat demands evaporation … it’s almost as if the atmosphere has forgotten how to rain.”
Global warming or not, young Noah is going to have to wait for the fountain to splash away the heat. Consumers may have to pay higher food prices this fall if crops fail.
By Stephen Pate, NJN Network