Nearly all of Logan County was listed as abnormally dry, with a section of eastern Logan County classified as in a stage 1 drought, last week by the latest U.S. Drought Monitor Report.
A little more than an inch of rain fell over the county last week. That was the first significant rain in Paris since mid-June, according to Jason Cauthron, water plant manager for the city of Paris. The area was under the threat of widely scattered showers early this week. However, hot and dry conditions, with highs in the mid- to upper-90s, are expected to be in place for the next several days.
Cauthron said water demand in Paris is averaging 2.7 million gallons a day and City Lake, the primary water supply for Paris, is about a foot low. The plant can produce three million gallons a day.
“We’re doing okay at the water levels we’re at right now,” Cauthron said. “If it continues to be hot and dry, I anticipate water demand will rise.”
Paris Mayor Daniel Rogers said last week he’s not ready to issue a water conservation order, however, he did call for residents to start using less water.
“If people in Paris want to prevent a conservation order, they should start thinking of ways to conserve,” Rogers said. “They don’t have to water plants, gardens or lawns every day and when they do, they should water early in the day so it’s not a strain on our system.”
Also, Rogers said the city is going to ask entities that purchase water from Paris to stick closer to the minimum amounts they can buy.
“Right now, we’re doing okay,” Rogers said. “Everything is running smoothly and we’re able to fill up our water tanks at night. The key on a water conservation order is whether we can fill up our tanks overnight and keep the plant from having to run 24 hours a day.”
Dustin Krigbaum of the Arkansas Forestry Commission, said last week’s rain helped.
“It brought things back for a few days,” he said. “Any significant rain helps. But, we’ll be looking at a burn ban if we don’t get anymore rain.”
Krigbaum admitted this summer is a lot better than the summer of 2012, when it bascially stopped raining in April. Rain returned in November.
“We’ve had two fires this summer," he said. "This time last year, we were covered up in fires. This is a more typical summer."