After talking with friends recently, I have realized that some people are unaware of the seriousness of the water shortage here in Nashville and the surrounding area. There are people who may not think that it’s a big deal, but conserving water in Nashville is STILL a very serious issue. Just because the flooding has subsided, that doesn’t mean that we are in the clear. Just because life may be returning to normal for you and for others in the area, that doesn’t mean that we are not still in a disaster zone.
If you didn’t already know this, one of our water treatment facilities was flooded and has not been running for several days. That means that we are running at half-capacity. On top of this, our reserves are at around 50% capacity (though that has risen from 37% due to conservation efforts). And though the waters have receded from the treatment facility, repairs need to be made in order for it to be up and running again. There is no estimate on how long this will take. And until this facility is back up and running and our water reserves have been replenished, we are still in danger of having a water shortage. In other words, many homes across Nashville will have NO running water unless we take steps now to cut back our usage.
To conserve water and to prevent a water shortage, city officials are asking all residents in Davidson and Williamson counties (and possible others) to restrict water usage to only essential use. In practical terms, that primarily means hand washing, cooking, and “navy showers” (turning on water briefly to wet the body, then leaving it off while soaping up). According to Metro Water, lawn watering, watering of plants, car washing, and similar uses are not essential and need to stop until the water shortages are resolved.
A hotline has been set up to report people who aren’t following the water conservation mandate – for example, people who are washing cars or businesses who haven’t shut off their irrigation systems. To report water waste, you can call 862-4600.
For more information and updates on the water shortage from Metro Water, go here.
For more information about the water shortage and the seriousness of it, go here.
And for things you can do to conserve water, here’s a great post from Cool People Care.
As for myself, I haven’t done dishes or laundry since the conservation mandate went into effect. I haven’t washed my hair since Monday. I’ve skipped showers. I’m drinking only bottled water, instead of using the water from the fridge, and I have shut off the automatic ice maker. Even still, I feel like there is more that I can do to help out because ensuring that people have access to water over the coming weeks is more important to me than the minor inconveniences that these conservation methods have caused.
I’m trying my best to do my part. Please, Nashville, I hope you do the same. This isn’t something we have to do forever, just for the next few days until our water supply is back to normal. And things are looking up.