Written by Frank Koch, Chairman of the Long Island Water Conference Friday, 10 August 2012 00:00
With a series of extreme heat waves and one of the hottest Julys on record, the summer of 2012 has highlighted the importance of a reliable and readily accessible water supply. Conserving water during the high-temperature summer days is critical. Saving water lessens the strains on the water-pumping systems, saves electricity, ensures a plentiful water supply for all our needs now and for future generations and, most importantly, saves you money! The Long Island Water Conference urges you to use your water wisely this summer, any way you can.
Water systems across Long Island are designed and constructed to meet the community’s maximum day demand plus a reserve for fire protection. However, the maximum day demands continue to increase every year due to new automatic sprinkler systems, resulting in a greater strain on our groundwater wells. This may lead to some areas seeing reduced water pressure and reduced fire flow protection.
As the summer months bring warmer weather, water usage can increase up to 500 percent greater than that of a typical spring day. During summers as hot as the one we have been experiencing, average per person water use increases to over 400 gallons per day. Less than one percent of these 400 gallons is used for drinking and cooking purposes. The peak water usage this summer throughout Long Island was estimated at over 1.2 billion gallons of water in a single day!
The increase in summer water usage can be mainly attributed to lawn irrigation. Installing a rain sensor is a must if you have an automatic irrigation system. It not only prevents overwatering, but also saves you money. After installing your sensor, it is still important to be aware of your water use. Simply follow odd and even sprinkler restrictions posted by your local municipality. It is also recommended that you don’t irrigate during the middle of the day, when the sun is at its highest point and evaporation is at its maximum.
During the summer, there are always concerns regarding increased electricity usage causing possible electricity shortages. Reducing the amount of water you use daily can drastically reduce electrical demand. High-capacity electric-pump motors provide the primary power required to withdraw water from the aquifer, ultimately to be delivered to homes. Efficient and wise use of the community’s precious drinking water supply will lower electric demand on your local water supplier and on the power system maintained by the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA).
Water conservation is the main priority in maintaining the reliability of our drinking water supply. Many of the simple actions you can take, such as using water wisely outdoors, will make a major difference and can save you a lot of money.