Little Rainfall and High Heat Already Take Toll in Early Summer

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You can feel the suntans and the potential burn bans already coming on strong.
Sure it's hot, but aside from the nuisance of it all--the likelihood of pop-up wildfires or even heat related injuries--little rainfall in north Alabama so far this summer does not help matters.

The more temperatures go up and the more those thermostats get bumped down, the more likely area utility companies are to see more demand for power than their systems can handle. Luckily we are not quite there yet.

Stepping outside right now is pretty much like stepping into a dog's mouth so it's no surprise people are using a lot of energy to stay cool, but Bill Yell, spokesman with Huntsville Utilities says the rocket city is nowhere near record levels for electricity or water usage. But Yell also says the summer is young and that could change in the next couple of weeks.

According to Yell, Huntsville's water department boasts a usage capacity of over 90 million gallons per day. Yell says over the past week average usage has floated around 60 million gallons per day, meaning Huntsville is in good shape so far.

But with rain deficits at 5.85 inches in Huntsville and over 8 inches in The Shoals, it is nearly been a month since any significant soaking in the Tennessee Valley. That lapse means adjustments and friendly usage reduction requests from local water providers.

Late Monday, the Florence-Lauderdale Emergency Management Agency issued voluntary water conservation requests on behalf of the Chisholm Heights and East Lauderdale Water authorities. It may be a simple request now, but continued dry conditions and escalating heat could easily turn the 'maybe' into the 'mandatory' sooner than later.

Click here for a list of 100 simple ways to help conserve water.