The City of Wrangell asked its residents to curb their water consumption this summer. Now, after four months, the water advisory was lifted today.
The advisory went into effect due to summer’s normally dry weather and the region’s ongoing drought. Two seafood processors also take their toll on the town’s water supply during summer fishing seasons.
But city officials say they see the light at the end of the tunnel. Wrangell’s city manager Lisa Von Bargen cites recent rainfall and the upcoming, traditionally rainy months.
Two seafood processors are closing their plants for the summer, meaning more water for residents. While the advisory persisted for months, the situation never turned dire. Von Bargen thanks the residents for being conscientious.
“The community responded fantastically when we asked them to take conservation measures into serious consideration,” Von Bargen said.
Wrangell’s public works department estimates total residential consumption at one point dropped 100 gallons per minute. Summer consumption hovers around 700 gallons per minute.
Processors Sea Level and Trident coordinated with the city to lessen strains on the plant.
Dry weather did result in one tough decision. The city canceled Wrangell’s Independence Day fireworks. While the Alaska State Fire Marshal excluded Wrangell from the burn ban around the holiday, the city said there was not enough water on hand for fire suppression.
The National Weather Service forecasts the town will receive higher than normal precipitation this fall. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, Alaska’s southern panhandle remains in a severe to extreme drought.