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Drought: City of Staunton asking residents, businesses to reduce water use

Chris Graham
tap water
(© Brian Jackson – stock.abobe.com)

The City of Staunton is asking city residents and business owners to voluntarily reduce their water use as the area deals with drought conditions.

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, on Monday, issued a Drought Warning Advisory for the Shenandoah Valley and Northern Virginia, noting the severe conditions from weeks of almost no precipitation in the region.

City officials noted on Tuesday that the water level in the Staunton Reservoir, one of the city’s drinking sources, is dropping, and that water stopped overflowing the dam at the end of last week.

Groundwater levels have also dropped from low to very low as hotter temperatures and lack of rainfall have led to higher water usage.

In a press release sent out Tuesday morning, it was noted that city departments have begun water conservation tactics, such as suspending the testing of fire hydrants and the flushing of water mains.

The next stage after a drought warning would be a Drought Emergency, which would be declared by the Office of Gov. Glenn Youngkin, if conditions warrant.

Here are a few ways residential users can reduce water consumption:

  • Check toilets for leaks. A leaking toilet can waste over 100 gallons each day.
  • Take shorter showers. Just 90 seconds less each day can save hundreds of gallons a month.
  • Don’t use the toilet as a wastebasket. Don’t waste an entire flush to dispose a tissue.
  • Turn off the water while brushing teeth or shaving.
  • Only run dishwashers and washing machines when they are full.
  • Water lawns only when needed. If grass springs back after stepping on it, it doesn’t need water. Only water lawns early in the morning or in the cool of the evening. Morning is better as it helps prevent the growth of fungus.
  • Don’t use a hose to clean driveways, walkways, and steps. Use a broom or blower instead.
  • Rinse fruits and vegetables in a bowl of clean water instead of under a running faucet.

Commercial users can reduce water consumption by:

  • Implementing an interior retrofit for all high-water use faucets and materials.
  • Restricting washing of sidewalks, driveways, parking lots, or any other paved surface, except in the case of meeting health and safety standards.
  • Prohibiting operations of fountains at commercial sites.

Check out more tips and resources for lower water consumption, and how to prepare in case of a drought, at www.ready.gov/drought.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham, the king of "fringe media," is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].