Saturday, July 14, 2012

Charlottetown conserving water during dry spell

Monuments and fountains that use city water have been temporarily turned off and city contractors have been asked to avoid using municipal water, according to officials.

In addition, water left in rain barrels and a well that isn't part of the municipal water supply are being used for field irrigation, and to fill water trucks and tanks.

City vehicles aren't being washed, and the fire department is holding off on training activities involving water until conditions aren't as dry.

Charlottetown's three water pumping facilities are running at full capacity during the day to keep up with water demand.

The Island had some showers overnight, and the forecast for today calls for a chance of showers.

Mid-July Heatwave Day One

July 13th Highs and Lows:

New Brunswick

St. Stephen

Max: 33.0°C
Min: 10.7°C

Fredericton Int'l Airport

Max: 32.3°C
Min: 12.9°C

Nova Scotia

Kejimkujik Park

Max: 32.0°C
Min: 12.2°C



Max: 32.8°C/91°F
Min: 16.1°C/61°F


Max: 32.7°C/91°F
Min: 16.1°C/61°F


Max: 32.2°C/90°F
Min: 13.9°C/57°F


Max: 32.2°C/90°F
Min: 15.5°C/60°F

Dry weather worries some Annapolis Valley farmers

CBC News Posted: Jul 13, 2012 9:50 PM AT Last Updated: Jul 13, 2012 9:54 PM AT

The recent hot and dry weather has some farmers in the Annapolis Valley concerned their crops will dry out in the heat.

Almost every day this week, the temperature in the valley has hit the 30 degree mark, causing water levels in irrigation ponds to dip precariously low.

Sylvia Forsyth and her son, Brice, run a farm market in Berwick and although business has been good, the hot and dry weather has Forsyth worried about her crops.

"We're just trying to keep as much alive as we can," she said.

The pond where the Forsyth's draw water from to irrigate their vegetables has gone down about two metres in the last two weeks, and now they have to be careful how much water they use so the pond doesn't completely dry out.

"We save the crops that give us the most cash value for the farm market and the ones we just might have to bypass and go where we can," Brice said, "Hopefully we'll get some rain and that will ease the situation."

The Forsyths' sweet corn will be ready to pick in about two weeks. Corn usually handles heat well but the sun and dry soil is starting to take its toll.

While the Forsyths struggle with their water woes, others in the Valley are in good shape.

At Gaspereau Vineyards, it's been a hot and sticky week, but the 14 hectares of vines are thriving in the heat.

Gina Haverstock, one of the owners, expects it will be a good season despite the lack of water in the ground.

"We're doing fine, we could use a little rain but grapevines are very deep rooted. We're okay when we have shorter snaps of dry weather. If, of course, that gets into possibly months, then we're looking at other issues, " Haverstock said.

High to extreme fire risk continues in N.S.

Campers hoping to take advantage of the beautiful summer weather by engaging in traditional summer activities such as roasting marshmallows over an open fire may be in for disappointment.

At Dollar Lake, campers are being greeted with a warning. They can only burn fires from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m. and they have to be in designated fire pits.

Across the province, campers are facing similar restrictions and with good reason.

Designated fire pits, such as the one pictured here, are used to safely contain campfires. (Carolyn Ray/CBC)In the last 24 hours, fire crews have been called to a few small fires across the province.

The latest fire index released Friday afternoon shows a lot more red, meaning more zones with an extreme risk.

Fire risk is calculated by a special formula factoring in rain, humidity, wind and temperature.

Jim Rudderham, the province's supervisor of wildfire management, said the fire crews are ready.

"We have crews all around the province on standby. Our helicopters are stationed to change places around the province. They're ready for anything that might come up," Rudderham said.

This weekend, the forecast includes some thundershowers, but that's no relief to those on standby.

"I think it's going to cause us more work. There's not a lot of rain expected... and of course with thunder, there's lightning," Rudderham said, "So there's that issue."

Fire experts are asking people to be vigilant this weekend.

If you spot a fire, report it. With recent dry conditions, Rudderham said it won't take much for a small fire to become a big problem.