Are you ready? Wildfires are raging and the peak hurricane season is rapidly approaching.
Water Security should have an increased focus in our lives. Current and anticipated climate conditions across the U.S. threaten potable water supplies and systems for you, your family and your loved ones.
Much of the West and North Central U.S. are in Extreme or Exception Drought conditions. More than 80 wildfires are raging across the U.S. west, impacting 13 states. Some of these fires are large enough to create their own weather patterns. Smoke from these fires is stretching from coast to coast.
Too Little Water
For many in the U.S., water scarcity is or will be a major problem. Lake Powell, for example, had dropped almost 150 feet from it’s peak levels in 1999. This is forcing releases from dams upstream of Lake Powell to ensure the Glen Canyon Dam can continue generating electricity. Last week, Lake Mead, downstream of Lake Powell, reached a new low. Lake Mead is nearing first federally declared water shortage level which will lead to cuts in Nevada’s allocation of Colorado River water.
The drought conditions are contributing to a significant number of wildfires. In 2021, there have been 7.5% more wildfires to date than the average than the previous decades averages, though the area burned is currently 25.2% less than the average. Currently, 88 major wildfires are burning across 13 states, according to USA Today. Others have slightly different figures, but no one doubts that the Dixie Fire in Northern California and the Bootleg Fire in southern Oregon are the largest at the moment.
While wildfires can certainly destroy a home, they can have impact well beyond their boundaries. Wildfires can damage power lines. Power companies have also started proactively cutting power to at-risk areas to prevent the spread of wildfires. Both of these can leave you without water. Water security is an important consideration during the risky times.
Wildfires Then Mudslides Impact Water Security
Wildfires destroy trees and the ground cover beneath them. Trees and ground cover play critical roles in keeping the soil in place . The root structures of both serve to bind the soil together. This mutual relationship is damaged by wildfires–soil saturated by heavy rains lacks anything to keep it in place. Obviously, houses on top of this soil can be destroy as can houses ahead of the muddy river. But even without home damage, mud slides can damage public and private water supplies. Following the devastating mud slides in modern Montecito, CA, the biggest concern for the mayor was potable water. When homes are destroyed, families were relocated. Many of the homes not destroyed were without potable water due damaged water infrastructure.
Too Much Water – We Are Entering Hurricane Season Peak
The southeastern U.S. is entering the annual hurricane season which will bring storms generating damaging winds, storm surge, and inland flooding. Strong winds can widely damage the electrical infrastructures on which homes and businesses on water well depend. Storm surges at impacted coastal communities can damage public water infrastructure and contaminate public and private water supplies. Inland flooding can impact electricity for water wells, damage water infrastructure and contaminate both public water supplies and private water wells. Have you thought about your approach to Water security?
The Atlantic hurricane season spans from June 1 through November 30. For 2021, NOAA predicts a range of 13 to 20 named storms (39 mph or higher winds), with 6 to 10 possibly becoming hurricanes (74 mph or higher winds), including 3 to 5 category 3, 4 or 5 hurricanes (winds of 111 mph or higher).
June and July are rarely busy hurricane periods, but we are rapidly moving into the historically peak periods of August and September.
Tropical Storm Elsa Came Early
We experienced an early storm in Tropical Storm Elsa, one of the earliest names storms we’ve had. Elsa took a familiar path from the west coast of Africa through the Caribbean and along the Florida coast. While threatening to grow, it remained a tropical storm throughout most of its duration. Damage was relatively light with most damage due to inland flooding. But Elsa did serve as a reminder that we are in the annual storm season.
“Now is the time for communities along the coastline as well as inland to get prepared for the dangers that hurricanes can bring,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “The experts at NOAA are poised to deliver life-saving early warnings and forecasts to communities, which will also help minimize the economic impacts of storms.”
Water Security Preparedness More Important Than Ever
These are challenging times in so many ways. Like the COVID virus, wildfires and hurricanes will impact many of us. But even if not directly affected, most will no someone that is. We take water for granted. We assume it will always be there, and, if not, will only be out only for short periods of time. If your assumption is wrong, how ready will you be? How ready will your parents be?
- Will your sinks and tubs be full when you need emergency water?
- Will you have to carry water from the tub or sink to flush your toilet?
- Will you create a fall risk by spilling water on the floor when you carry water from the tub?
- Are you concerned about the environmental impact of plastic water bottles?
Water security is what Constant Water is all about. From coast to coast, our customers rest more comfortable knowing they have potable water available when mother nature is surly. More and more, power is proving unreliable, and our aging public water systems are further stressed.
Constant Water provides water throughout your home when you need it most. Talk with us about providing water security for you, your family, and your loved ones.