By Ryan King

[This story was originally published on Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014]

Exceedingly dry weather this month has caused university officials to issue a water supply watch, meaning that water conservation is no longer a suggestion: it’s now mandatory.

“We asked originally that people be conscientious of water use, and now we’re saying – look, with irrigation, you’re really limited to certain hours of the day,” said Jason Coite, the Environmental Compliance Manager at the UConn Office of Environmental Policy.

“If you plan on filling your pool, you cannot use water to do that. If you’re running an ornamental fountain off the UConn supply, you’ll have to turn it off for the time being. They’ve just become mandatory restrictions, as opposed to voluntary.”

He says restrictions will be in place until they see the Willimantic and the Fenton Rivers sustained at normal water levels.

“We don’t want to be in a position where, look say we get a little bit of rain, and the stream flows go up. We know from experience, that often time it’s just a temporary increase and we’ll be back into a conservation mode relatively soon,” Coite said.

Coite says university departments  are expected to cooperate with new limits on the water they use.

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