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Silver Beach neighbors fight drought: Take proactive steps to conserve water

Drought conditions on the Island may be officially designated as “moderate,” but the designation has come at the worst time of year, given the population rise that typically triples or quadruples during summer months.

Silver Beach residents, who live in a low lying area of the Island — susceptible to saltwater intrusion into wells — are being proactive in alerting new neighbors, part-timers and visitors to the drought status, according to Silver Beach Association Board member Sean Davy. If the drought worsens, it can result in a more serious situation, including a total lack of water.

It’s why the organization has decided to post a sign at the entrance to the community alerting people to the fact that the current drought situation is “guarded.” The association has also invited Water Advisory Committee Chairman Peter Grand to an Association meeting Saturday morning, Mr. Davy said.

The Water Advisory Committee has posted information in the Center, Mr. Grand said.

Silver Beach has many new homeowners who may be spending their first summer on the Island and the organization wants to welcome them, while alerting them to efforts to protect their water supply.

There is a test well in the neighborhood, but it provides only a partial sign of what’s going on with the groundwater and aquifer, Mr. Davy said.

When he purchased a house in Silver Beach 25 years ago, he said he had no knowledge of the water situation. Now he carefully monitors radar to see where storms are and how long they’re lasting to help replenish the aquifer.

But heavy rains that don’t last long aren’t sufficient since hardened ground prevents the water from seeping into the groundwater. Instead during prolonged periods of dry weather — and the Island was categorized as “unusually dry” over the past several months — rainwater runs off into Peconic Bay.

“We’re going to do our part in Silver Beach,” Mr. Davy said about getting the word out about the need to conserve water.