The City and Borough of Juneau’s Engineering and Public Works Department on Wednesday asked residents from Lemon Creek to Tee Harbor to make efforts to conserve water as demand for water increases during the current dry spell.
The number of residents affected by this conservation request cannot definitively be said, though it does include “a fair chunk” of Juneau, said Chad Gubala, the treatment and production manager for the City and Borough of Juneau Public Works and Utilities Department, who is in charge of the city’s water and wastewater. He said at the moment, the weather forecast looks as though the dry spell will remain for “quite some time.”
“We’re trying to get people to not restrict their water use, but be careful,” he said. “We’re heading into a dry spell and there is a lot of increased demand for water that’s happening right now.”
In the statement, the city requests residents to turn off their water when able and to use it sparsely for the time being. A similar request was made back in 2019 when there was an unexpected dry period during the summer, and Gubala said they are now following the steps they took in 2019 to solve the issue.
According to Gubala, the request was made foremost as a precaution to ensure all residents are able to have adequate access to water, but also to make sure there is adequate water available for fire protection as the likelihood of fires in the area increase as the temperatures remain high and the dry spell continues.
“It’s a concern to us especially in the summertime when you get into a dry period you want to make sure we have adequate fire suppression every time we need it,” Gubala said.
The conservation request will likely be dropped once the typical weather in Juneau returns, Gubala said. He also said the conservation is a safety measure in order to make sure the shortage does not affect Juneau later down the line.
• Contact reporter Clarise Larson at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (651)-528-1807. Follow her on Twitter at @clariselarson.