Water advisory issued in Town of Andes


Staff report
This week’s predicted thunderstorms, courtesy of the remnants from Tropical Storm Issac, may be just what the Catskills need.

The region has been so parched in recent weeks that the Town of Andes issued an advisory asking residents to conserve water. Portions of Delaware County, including Andes, have been experiencing abnormally dry weather. “

We don’t want people to panic, but the water table is low,” said Andes Supervisor Marty Donnelly “We’re asking them to conserve water now, so we won’t have a problem later.”
The problem is worse in neighboring counties. There are moderate drought conditions in Schoharie, Otsego and portions of Ulster County including Shandaken, according to the Northeast Regional Climate Center based at Cornell University. The drought has reduced some of the flowing streams of the Catskills into nothing more than trickles.

For those paddling the Pepacton Reservoir, the water level has visibly lowered since the start of the summer. According to the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, the Pepacton is currently at about 78 percent of capacity.

Taking precautions
Donnelly explained that the decision to ask the town’s approximately 190 customers to conserve water was made by Shane Boise. He oversees both the town’s water and wastewater treatment facilities as the chief operator for Delhi-based Delaware Operations. Boise made the request last week.

Donnelly explained that it’s to remain in effect until further notice. It’s not clear if the scattered storms will dump enough rain on the region to provide much relief. Donnelly said that contrary to some reports, residents were never recently asked to boil their water and there is no specific water restriction underway. “That would be difficult to enforce,” he said.

But in the meantime, the town is continuing to ask residents to avoid any unnecessary use of water. “Don’t go washing cars, watering your garden or using sprinklers,” said Donnelly. “That would be appreciated.” This week’s rainfall may provide all of the watering that a garden needs.