A lack of rainfall this summer and fall has the village of Memramcook, N.B., worried that some residents’ wells may run dry before winter.
“It is going to be a big problem because there is not enough moisture in the ground to do for the whole winter,” said the village’s deputy mayor, Gilberte Nowlan.
As many as 60 residents in the community have had their wells run either dry or dangerously low, said Nowlan.
She said the village is helping residents who have been forced to truck in water to top up their wells pay for the added expenses. Nowlan said up to $1,000 is available to any household that has had to pay for water.
Jeanne Hebert, who lives in the village, said it was so dry this summer and fall that her family was without water for 10 days after her well went dry several times.
“We did our laundry at my mom-in-law’s, we did the baths at my father’s place,” said Hebert.
She said it’s been not only an inconvenience but also a worry — being without water during a pandemic.
“It is the washing of the hands. You had to have your bottled water to wash the hands and everything else to keep clean, so it was hard,” she said.
Hebert said she has already had to purchase water to top up her well twice and was reimbursed a portion of the expense by the village. She hopes she won’t need another top-up before winter.
Nowlan said the village can continue to support its residents in the short term but if enough rain doesn’t come before the ground freezes up, the village may have to go to the province for financial help.
Meanwhile, Hebert said she is rationing every drop just in case.
“It is really short showers, you know, turn the water off when you are not using it and even laundry, we try to limit that every day.”