FAIRHOPE, Ala. (WKRG) — The city of Fairhope has cut back on the hours of operation of the splash pad near downtown as one way to conserve water just like they are asking residents to do.
“I think it’s a great idea,” said resident Jennifer Smith. “I hope people listen so we don’t have to go to stage two or stage three.” But that’s exactly where Mayor Sherry Sullivan believes the city is headed.
“Unfortunately, people are not following the voluntary measures we set forth so we are more than likely on Monday going to have to have the council declare a water emergency to enter the second phase of that ordinance,” said Sullivan.
That would mean water usage would be based on addresses. Addresses ending with odd numbers could water on Monday and Wednesday, even addresses on Tuesday and Thursday and no watering Friday, Saturday and Sunday. “People didn’t pay much attention to the first phase, I’m not sure they are going to pay much attention to the second phase,” said resident Conley Clark.
“We have plenty of supply,” said Sullivan. “It’s the capacity that our water towers can hold and the amount of water we are pulling down and those towers do not have time to replenish.”
The city is digging more wells but they won’t be online for another six months. Other infrastructure projects continue but face delays because of supply chain and workforce issues. “There is a lot of factors at play here not just the growth that people are complaining about,” said Sullivan. Not just that we haven’t been planning or not know that we need more infrastructure. We obviously know that.”
For now, keeping the water flowing is the priority. “Hopefully people will listen so we can get this under control and the temperature goes down a little bit,” said Smith.
The city has also asked citizens to conserve electricity. Sullivan said it’s not a power grid issue it’s a fuel adjustment cost that has been added by the provider and will be passed on to the customers.