LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - The extreme drought is taking its toll on water tables. On Wednesday, Ocean Springs asked its residents to cut back on yard watering. A day later, Long Beach made a similar request.
According to Long Beach Mayor Billy Skellie, the severe shortage of rainfall this year has residents using unprecedented amounts of water. The City's water wells are thus far keeping up with the demand, but he fears that any further increase in the water demand will leave the water storage tanks with insufficient reserves to provide normal fire protection. He explains that unlike other coastal cities, the City of Long Beach does not meter water consumption by residential customers, and this results in higher water demands during draught periods.
A statement sent to the media on Thursday says Long Beach is not instituting mandatory restrictions on lawn watering. But Mayor Skellie requests voluntary cooperation from its water customers by reducing the amount of lawn watering to the minimum necessary, and by avoiding watering during the hot part of the day when much of the water is lost to evaporation anyway.
City leaders note the most desirable time to water is during the night time when evaporation is less and other water demand diminishes.
If everyone reduces the amount of water they use by just a little, the city's statement says more drastic measures can be avoided.
On WLOX News at 6:00, Steve Phillips will look at the water consumption issues suddenly plaguing Ocean Springs.