Thursday, September 1, 2016

Getting Serious!

Large electronic billboard Rt 9 Amherst/Hadley line
A new lawn sign to join all the political ones

This morning our scientifically minded Amherst Water Supply Protection Committee heard a sobering report from DPW Chief Guilford Mooring and Assistant Town Manager Dave Ziomek updating them on the current water crisis, err, concerns.

 Water Supply Protection Committee, Dave Ziomek, Guilford Mooring

Click to enlarge photos/graphs
 Quickly heading towards previous lowest year, October of 1982

While Atkins Reservoir is easy to measure, the even more important wells at the moment are not.

So a pressure gage will be installed at two locations to give weekly reports on the static level of the water table to measure whether the wells can continue to produce water at current rates.

 Atkins Reservoir 8/24

With one reservoir unusable except for the fire department refilling their tankers and Atkins headed towards a shut down the wells will be our only means of survival.  And yes the town did rely exclusively on them at one point for a couple months back in the early 1980s.

The state has kept measurements on some wells for about 35 years and the closest one to Amherst in Pelham now measures the lowest in that entire 35 year history.

UMass is making plans for Armageddon by ensuring a bottled water supply could be made quickly available and switching to paper plates in case dishwasher units are eliminated.

Amherst College has set their air conditioning units 5 degrees warmer and the town is tapping the 380,000 gallons of water remaining in the two outdoor pools for routine tree and shrub watering at a rate of 1,000 gallons per day.

Water usage went down after the mandatory ban but is starting to creep back up

With our resident population about to double the peak water consumption day is coming up fast. Last year it occurred on September 6th at 4.2 million gallons.

This year town officials are hoping to keep it to 3.5 million gallons, although it seems to hard to believe since UMass traditionally consumed about 30% of the water supply.

 Even if consumption peaks at or a little over 4.2 mgd the wells can handle it

Barring any unforeseen catastrophes, like a monumental structure fire or a C5A crashing into the Lawrence Swamp and taking out Well 4, we should survive the long Labor Day weekend and the first few days of our little college town operating with all our beloved institutes of higher education in session.

The real question is what happens in late September, October and November if Mother Nature continues to deny us routine rainfall?

 The Ghost of Christmas future?


Anonymous said...

Even if it does rain, it will take months/years to replenish the aquifer.

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't Amherst tap into Quabbin ???!!! So many from Umass Boston people - ship them to us - ship water - too !!!

Anonymous said...

Take your meds old man! It rained last night and more coming.It,s OK to with your prune juice.

Anonymous said...

That wasn't a rain last night it was called dizzle. Just to be clear it did not replenish anything old man.

Anonymous said...

This old man crap is why I wont vote for Solomon for rep....young people should never be in charge!

Anonymous said...

The town has taken a "sucks to be you" attitude toward the UMass students for the past 20 years, if not longer. It inevitably will do so again this fall.

Now the town needs to ask the students for help. My expectation is that the students will tell the town to go fire truck itself.

Larry, throwing a beer bottle at a cop will get you arrested, flushing three times won't. We may disagree as to the legitimacy of their visceral rage, but do you honestly believe there wouldn't be a lot more beer bottles flying if they could be thrown with impunity?

Water can be used, and wasted, with impunity.

Sucks to be you, Amherst.

Anonymous said...

Or Hurricane Hermies arrives Tuesday, following one [of several] computer models and dumps 5"-10" of rain on Amherst. the Atkins becomes unusable for at least a week due to bacteria, the rain won't help the wells, and all rational for conservation will be gone.

Shower/laundry usage will at least double as people arrive home soaking wet, muddy &miserable -- particularly UM students --and then what?

Anonymous said...

Channel 22 reports that word of the ban is not getting out...
UMass Amherst spokesperson Dan Fitzgibbins told 22News that the university is targeting this message of saving water to students, with social media posts, flyers in the dorms, and even posters off Route 116 when students first come into campus, but that message isn’t exactly loud and clear:
Griffin Brosnen, a UMass Amherst student said that he hadn’t heard about this at all and hasn’t seen anything.
Matej Halasa, another UMass Amherst student, said he didn’t see anything also.
“I think students are supposed to know about it, to realize something, and then find a solution for it,” said Halasa.
“I have seen it on things like the water bottles that they handed out, I think. They gave me one at orientation. But I was not aware of it,” said UMass Amherst student David Hamilton.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, well I don't imagine too many students are watering their lawns or washing their cars with town water. There's no ban on household uses.

I have seen students water my lawn in a much more inefficient manner, using recycled Milwaukee water...

Anonymous said...

It's a form of rebellion, students simply ignore EVERYTHING UMass tells them.

The fliers, social media and Chancellorspam emails have become nothing more than background noise.

Anonymous said...

I have seen students water my lawn in a much more inefficient manner, using recycled Milwaukee water...

Actually water from Merimack, NH, not thai I want to confuse you with facts.

Water weighs nearly 8 lb/gallon, it costs a great deal of money to transport large volumes of it halfway across the country.

Anonymous said...

Ed, don't you have anything else to do in your life?