If you have a full lake this year, consider yourself lucky! Most New England lakes and ponds are suffering from low lake levels. Many lakes rely on the snow melt from winter and spring rains to bring them to capacity. But the drought of 2011/2012 means unusually low water conditions affecting both recreational use and businesses in the area. If you are considering purchasing lakefront property this year, be sure to speak with the lake association and see if they have a plan for drought management techniques.
USA Today reports “Drought condition spreads over USA” Written by Lyndon Valicenti:
On Friday, April 13th, USA Today reported that 61% of the lower 48 states are in “abnormally dry” or drought conditions. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, that is the highest percentage of dry or drought conditions since September 2007.
Western areas prone to dry conditions, like California and Texas, continue to suffer. After a relatively warm and dry winter, California’s Department of Natural Resources warned that the water content of mountain snowpack is 45% below normal this year. The East Coast is also being hit hard by the mild winter, with stream levels at record or near-record lows in much of New England and brush and wildfires common from New England to Florida.
The article reported that all of Vermont is “abnormally dry” today, just six months after the state’s wettest August on record stemming from disastrous flooding by the remnants of Hurricane Irene.
From the perspective of the Great Lakes watershed, it is hard to ignore our obligation to protect and conserve the world’s greatest source of surface freshwater during national dry spells. When water shortage warnings are being made across southern Florida and when more 63% of the state of Georgia is now in the worst two levels of drought, it is time to rise as responsible stewards of the Great Lakes.