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Dry times

Some may believe in performing special summer rain dances to solve water shortages and others may simply pray, but University officials are advocating a water conservation program to save community reservoirs.

The drought, which struck many areas of Virginia beginning in early summer, has left community reservoirs to 80 percent of their capacity.

Energy Program Manager Tony Motto said city officials issue mandatory water restrictions when reservoirs are depleted to 60 percent.

Currently, the city of Charlottesville and Albemarle County have asked all residents and businesses to try their best to save water.

"We need a hurricane with steady rains for a couple of days to get our reservoirs up to capacity," Motto said.

Until then, the University is advocating voluntary water restrictions.

Leonard W. Sandridge, executive vice president and chief financial officer, proposed voluntary restrictions here at the University.

In response to the request, all dorm rooms have cards informing students on how they can help to conserve water. Additional measures include washing University trucks with recycled water and hand watering the greens around Grounds.

To emphasize the need to conserve water, the University placed a bathtub with two running showerheads outside of Cocke Hall yesterday. The apparatus, which recycled all the water used in running the showers, also had signs posted on it advocating shorter showers.

"The University is one of the biggest if not the biggest water consumer in the area," said Al Fioretti, office manager for management-utilities recycling services. "This is a good faith effort to do voluntary conservation, so we don't get to the point where we have to go to mandatory restrictions," Fioretti said. "We are being a good neighbor"

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