ROTTERDAM -- The town of Rotterdam announced outdoor water use restrictions on Saturday. It is the latest community to ask its residents to use less water because prolonged dry weather is impacting municipal wells.
"All residential and commercial properties within (the town water system) are restricted from any unnecessary outdoor water usage," the town announced. The measure applies to the entire town except for the hamlet of Rotterdam Junction, which is on a separate well system.
The conservation measures are expected to last through the end of July, town officials said. Residents and business that violate the ban on outdoor use, which will be enforced by both the Rotterdam Police Department and the town's Department of Public Works, could be fined. The restrictions are needed to ensure there's an adequate water supply for firefighting, town officials said.
Rotterdam joins Glenville and the communities in Saratoga County that buy water from Glenville in imposing water restrictions due to a combination of circumstances. Both Rotterdam and Glenville draw their water from wells in the Great Flats Aquifer, which is low because its water supply is not being replenished at a normal rate due to the recent lack of rainfall and low water levels in the Mohawk River.
While the Mohawk is normally dammed this time of year to make the Erie Canal navigable, the dams are currently out because winter maintenance work, postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has yet to be completed. The dams should be in place in early July, raising the river's water levels.
The National Weather Service says that while conditions have been unusually dry this spring, the region isn't in a drought.