City Seeks Conservation After Declaring Drought Watch

Kenoza Lake, Haverhill.

Water from Millvale Reservoir, Crystal Lake, Round Pond and Winnekenni Basin is pumped into Kenoza lake to augment supplies.

With this being the sixth driest year on record so far—and June being the 18th driest—Haverhill residents and businesses began receiving robocalls Friday, asking them to voluntarily conserve water.

Automated telephone calls from the city’s water division called on residents to refrain from watering outdoor plants and lawns from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., wasting water on pavement and other hard surfaces when irrigating, and, if possible, avoid watering ornamental plants and grasses entirely.

“Due to the dry weather and low levels in the city of Haverhill’s public water supply reservoirs, the water division has declared a drought watch. We ask that all residents and businesses enact voluntary water conservations measures to help stabilize our water supply levels,” said a recorded message.

Officials also used the opportunity to remind residents to check for and repair water leaks in faucets and toilets. Additional suggestions online are using rain barrels to capture rainwater for irrigation and avoid hand-washing vehicles. Commercial car washes typically recycle water.

The drought watch means Kenoza Lake, the city’s primary supply, is between 5 and 10 percent below the average reservoir capacity. As of July 28, Kenoza was 7.8 percent below average capacity. Additional water is pumped into Kenoza from Millvale Reservoir, Crystal Lake, Round Pond and Winnekenni Basin. Previous backup supplies included Johnson Pond, Chadwick Pond, and Hovey’s Pond, but have not been used since the city expanded Kenoza Lake in 1980. The city is considering using wells along the Merrimack River to add to supplies.

Besides low rainfall amounts this year, water officials noted online, “lower than average rainfall in 2015 has placed additional stresses on our water resources. Based on local rainfall records 2015 was the 23rd driest year since 1895.” The city began keeping records precipitation records in 1895.

One thought on “City Seeks Conservation After Declaring Drought Watch

  1. This article should also say that RESIDENTS ARE NOT ALLOWED TO SWIM IN KENOZA LAKE because it is our drinking water that people are swimming in. Disgusting!!!!