FAIRHOPE, Ala. (WKRG) — The City of Fairhope may authorize a water emergency in a Monday night City Council vote, making mandatory water restrictions an option if the situation gets worse. Even with the vote, it appears things are looking better for the water supply as homeowners are looking for solutions.
“I don’t think it should be mandatory, I hope it’s just a temporary situation,” said Fairhope resident Lucky Petrovic. Fairhope mayor Sherry Sullivan says some things have moved in the right direction this week. Water conservation appears to be working. People are cutting an average of a half-million gallons a day, and the area has had slightly cooler temps mixed with some much-needed rain.
The mayor says he will ask council members to authorize a water emergency at Monday’s meeting. While mandatory water restrictions wouldn’t start immediately, Sullivan says it will be an option. For now, things remain voluntary. People say they’re doing what they can.
“It’s important, it’s important, we have to listen to our officials and trust they’re right,” said Fairhope resident Timothy Hensley. Some longtime Fairhope homeowners argue the city has failed to keep up with the growth this area has seen.
“It’s the management of growth and the management of growth hasn’t happened, and people knew this was coming,” said homeowner Bill Martiniere. It’s a sentiment echoed by a lot of people in town for the last week. The mayor cites several issues–small pipes in Fairhope, growth inside and outside the city, and a development moratorium she describes as too little too late.
Mayor Sherry Sullivan sent this email to News 5 with an update on the water situation as of Sunday morning:
I wanted to update you on the water situation in Fairhope. After hitting a peak water usage of 9 million gallons on Monday of last week, water customers have conserved an average of 500,000 gallons of water per day. Yesterday our water usage was 8.4 million gallons. We have also had some rain and temperatures are a little cooler so that has helped.
My hope is that we can avoid moving to Phase II of the water conservation ordinance for now, but that the Council (after consultation with them and staff) will give me the authority to move to Phase II if necessary. They may declare the water emergency tomorrow night and give me that authorization, but hopefully we can stay in the voluntary Phase I for now.