With all the rain this spring, North Kingstown’s summer watering restrictions don’t really matter, right?

No!

Even when there is no drought, watering restrictions are still necessary.

Why, after abundant rain, shouldn’t we be able to water any time we want? The answer is that the town’s pumping, piping, and storage capacity cannot support unlimited watering. On a typical winter day, North Kingstown pumps around 2 million gallons of water. But in summer that quantity jumps dramatically, with up to 40% going to the watering of lawns.

Can’t the town just upgrade its infrastructure? That would be extremely expensive and unnecessary. Before the town implemented summer watering restrictions, summer daily usage would sometimes reach 7 or 8 million gallons ­— the maximum that the system can produce. If demand is higher than that, low water pressure can result, which is not just inconvenient but also dangerous because it impairs the ability to fight fires. With watering restrictions, summer daily usage is about 5 to 6 million gallons — high but sustainable.

Remember, periods of abundant rain do not eliminate the need to conserve water. The summer watering restrictions still enable you to maintain a healthy lawn. Another option is to let your lawn go dormant during dry periods; a brown lawn is not dead and will revive with renewed rain.

Please obey the town’s summer watering restrictions during July and August. Lawn watering is allowed twice weekly, but never between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. East of Route 1 (Post Rd., Tower Hill Rd.), watering is allowed on Mondays and Thursdays only. West of Route 1 (Post Rd., Tower Hill Rd.), watering is allowed on Tuesdays and Fridays only. Hand watering of flower and vegetable gardens is permitted at any time on any day.

Please comply with these restrictions regardless of how much rain we have had.

North Kingstown Groundwater Committee members John McGinn, Chair; Richard Graefe, Ahren Cohen,

Martin Mendelson, Laura Harris, Kevin Doherty,

Jason Bergenstock

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