By Kadeem Joseph
While many worldwide pray for sun to break through clouded skies, many are praying for the reverse in Antigua and Barbuda as dry conditions threaten the production of potable water for residents and the summer heat dries water catchments and scorches newly planted backyard gardens.
However, hope may be on the horizon.
Climatologist Dale Destin said Antigua and Barbuda could see increased rainfall in July and August which would break present drought conditions.
“As we get into the peak of the hurricane season, that’s the time we would likely see our rainfall worries being eased significantly, if not ending,” he said.
The climatologist forecasts that, beyond August, conditions should get wetter as the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season becomes more active.
“There is a lot of hope. The probabilities are good for us to see good rainfall coming across us as we move into mid to the latter half of the hurricane season,” Destin added.
The 2020 hurricane season is projected to be above average with up to 19 named storms, of which six to 10 could become hurricanes including three to six major hurricanes.
Meanwhile, the climatologist is reminding residents to get prepared, despite the financial challenges resulting from Covid-19.
Among his recommendations are having adequate home insurance, having a hurricane plan including a shelter plan, preparing in stages, assisting neighbours and being aware of the threats to one’s home due to its location.
The country’s present dry spell has forced APUA to tighten water rationing measures whilst encouraging residents to use the depleting resource responsibly.
With dwindling surface water reserves, APUA has had to rely more on reverse osmosis plants to supply the needs of the country.
Weeks ago, APUA announced that it had stopped extracting water from the largest natural water catchment on island, Potworks Dam, which had only three feet of water left at the time.