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Still on course to end drought by late April

REPORTER FILE PHOTO Water Advisory Committee member Greg Toner

REPORTER FILE PHOTO
Water Advisory Committee member Greg Toner

Drought conditions on Shelter Island remain moderate with an anticipated lifting of restrictions by the end of April, according to the National Integrated Drought Information System.

Accompanying that good news are readings from the United States Geological Survey that show nine of the town’s 13 test wells are above their median levels as of readings taken in February.

But Water Advisory Committee member Greg Toner, who compiles and interprets the numbers provided by the United States Geological Survey cautions that voluntary water conservation efforts should continue.

Several months ago, the committee was asking the Town Board to impose mandatory restrictions on water use. But the Town Board ultimately kept compliance voluntary.

That both December and January were wet months seem to be driving improved readings January to February, Mr. Toner said.

What concerns Mr. Toner now is that the “Big 4” wells — Manhansett, Manwaring, Congdon and Goat Hill — all in the interior of the Island, still have readings below their median levels. Those four are believed to be the primary water reservoirs.

It’s his reason for advising voluntary water conservation efforts. Such voluntary efforts are normal for summer months when the Island’s population increases with part-time residents and visitors.

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