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Met Service warns: Lowest rainfall in 30 years
This year, so far, has recorded the least rainfall in the last 30 years. That’s the reason citizens are being urged to conserve water. The Water and Sewerage Authority has already embarked on a prolonged water-rationing programme with most communities receiving water on scheduled days. The rationing is expected to continue until the end of August. Additionally, according to the Meteorological Office, drier than average conditions over the last few months were accompanied by above-normal temperatures.
Further, medium-term forecast anticipates continuing lower-than-average rainfall over the next three months. “Against these scenarios, expect an increase in evaporation and lower recharge rates of water reservoirs—water availability will continue to be a challenge,” the Met Office stated in a release. Accumulated rainfall for January to June this year, at Piarco meteorological station, stood at 59 per cent (351.7 mm) of the long term 1981-2010 average (593.8 mm). Minister of Water Resources, Ganga Singh urged that while the rains are late, people ought not to dump garbage in watercourses. “The rains are late in coming, so the earth is not yet saturated in order to give rise to floods. We have embarked on a programme of dredging all the major watercourses. However, we are calling on people not to dump garbage in watercourses because it will lead to problems.”
In addition, Singh said, his Ministry has engaged Cepep workers to clear all beverage containers throughout the island. “That is an ongoing exercise as a precursor to the Beverage Bill coming to Parliament.” Reiterating that the water courses are being cleared on a continuous basis, Singh made mention of people building houses in high-risk areas and floodplains. He urged such people to desist.
Rainfall Accumulation 2014
(Up to June)
• At Caroni Reservoir: 83 per cent
(575.6 mm) of the long term 1981-2010 average (690.2 mm).
• At Hollis Reservoir: 73 per cent
(778.7 mm) of the long term 1981-2010 average (1018.5 mm).
• At Navet Reservoir: 52 per cent
(396.2 mm) of the long term 1981-2010 average (757.6 mm).
• At Hillsborough Reservoir: 59 per cent
(410.8 mm) of the long term 1981-2010 average (689.1 mm).
• At Crown Point, Tobago : 55 per cent
(250.3 mm) of the long term 1981-2010 average (456.9 mm).