Voluntary water restrictions coming soon in Richmond area

By Tara Morgan - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Richmond and surrounding communities are on the verge of voluntary water conservation measures.

Richmond is expected to announce what's called a ready alert next Tuesday, meaning voluntary measures are coming.

For other communities those measures could start Monday.

Emily Lacroix only recently got into gardening. But having a lush yard is tricky in this dry spell.

"This year I planted a bunch of stuff and now it's all dying," said Lacroix.

Phylliss Hunter's flowers are not in great shape. Nearby lawns are shades of yellow and brown.

"Everything is just drying up and we've got a heat wave going," said Hunter.

If the dry weather continues, Richmond will ask residents next Friday to voluntarily conserve water.

"We'll be in voluntary for at least 14 days then if weather pattern continues for  those 14 days then of course we'll go into mandatory," said Angela Fountain with Richmond Public Utilities.

It's been two years since the river level was low enough for the city to call for voluntary water conservation measures, and even then it wasn't until late in the summer they went from voluntary to mandatory restrictions.

People in the Tri-cities and Chesterfield could be asked to voluntarily save water on Monday.

The water level at Lake Chesdin is 17 inches below the top of the dam.

Voluntary measures are called at 19 inches.

NBC12's Meteorologist Andrew Freiden call this a drought, even though city officials haven't.

"We've seen our water levels drop very quickly earlier than we typically do so because it has been so dry and so hot," said Freiden.

Hunter is prepared to cut back.

"The flowers will just have to fend for themselves," said Hunter.

Richmond officials say they're in touch with Henrico county which typically begins voluntary measures at the same time.

That means residents will be asked to water on certain days depending on their address.

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