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Lack of rain proves difficult for N.S. farmers and well water users
HALIFAX -- June has brought about a hot and dry start to summer 2020 across Nova Scotia. Alongside the heat, the lack of rainfall is proving difficult for gardeners, farmers and residents who rely on wells for water.
For the well drilling industry in N.S., it's a busy time.
"I'd say we're getting the same amount of calls right now as we'd typically get in August and September," says Brewster Well Drilling manager, Kyle Fetterly. "That happening in May and June is out of the ordinary."
Without any significant rainfall during the hot month, some areas are beginning to dry up – creating a big problem for people reliant on well water.
"People over-pump their wells in the dry weather – watering lawns and gardens, filling pools and things like that," says Fetterly. "Right now, I think everything is compounded with the COVID situation. There's a lot more people at home; daycares closed, kids are at home – everyone is using more water."
And well water users admit they perhaps have been using significant amounts of water.
"We ran out of water last week," says Mount Uniacke resident, Geraldine Foley. "I think we had the sprinkler on too long."
It's also a difficult situation for farmers and gardeners.
"You're trying to keep a bunch of plants alive, and they're drying up just as soon as you keep them watered," says Withrow's Farm Market manager, Michael Withrow. "We marked a bunch of stuff down just to get rid of it."
While Withrow says a dry spring was good for some crops, he's hearing concerns from farmers that other crops are getting too dry, too early.
"Most of the early crop guys are irrigating anyways, it's more the heat that's bringing the crop on," says Withrow. "But I imagine anyone that doesn't have irrigation right now is hurting quite a bit."
For those with wells, Fetterly provides some advice.
"Try and go a little easier on your wells; pace out your showers and your laundry and things like that," says Fetterly. "Do yourself a favour and don't run your well dry."
Meanwhile, the dry conditions are putting a damper on weekend plans for campfire lovers and bonfire enthusiasts as the entire province remains under a burn ban for Saturday and Sunday as dry conditions continue.