Kodiak Island, while not the rainiest place in Alaska with 77-inches per year, still gets twice the national average. But a wet spring sandwiched between a relatively snowless winter and a dry summer has not been enough to keep the city of Kodiak’s water reservoir full.
On Friday, Kodiak City Manager Aimee Kniaziowski’s office issued a request for businesses and residents to conserve water usage because the reservoir has fallen to less than 50-percent full.
She wrote that the persistently mild weather here this summer has limited rainfall, and is not expected to change right away.
At 49 inches of precipitation since January 1st, Kodiak is more than four-inches below normal for this time of year.
Kniaziowski asked citizens to conserve water use in daily routines, such as quick showers, turning off the water when brushing teeth, postponing a car wash, and making sure taps are not dripping. She said conservation efforts must continue until Kodiak receives substantial rainfall.
Meanwhile, the especially dry summer has not caused water levels at Terror Lake, where Kodiak Electric Association generates most of its power, to drop excessively. According to KEA figures online, the water level as of August 26th, the latest measurement posted, was still 128 feet above the minimum water level of 1,280 feet. Dependence on hydro-electric power has dropped three percent so far this year, as the Pillar Mountain wind farm picked up more of the generation load.
Of course, the warm and dry summer also contributed to the Twin Creeks Fire in Chiniak, which, at over 4,000-acres, was one of the largest in the Kodiak Archipelago’s history. The entire borough remains under an open fire burn ban.