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Water woes force Zamami to turn faucets completely off

Date Posted: 2005-11-19

Drought has drained the Zamami Reservoir to the point moderate rationing doesn’t work anymore.

For a month now, Zamami Village has been without water 12 hours out of each day, but it hasn’t solved the problem. Bringing water from Naha to the island by ferry hasn’t helped either. Nearby Aka Island is experiencing the same problem. “We haven’t had rain since June,” says Mitsuo Nakamura, the Zamami Village mayor. “We are really in trouble.”

He’s now placing his beleaguered village on a stiff rationing plan that shuts the water supply off completely every two days. The reservoir is down to only 24% of its capacity. The Okinawa Prefecture General Bureau says this is only the second time in 14 years the water’s been turned off every second day.

Zamami in 2003 found itself shutting water off 50% of each day for 325 straight days. Businesses are angry and frustrated, because it is adversely impacting them. Hotels are losing business because tourists can’t shower because water is off and there’s no water pressure. Even dive shops feel the pinch, because they need cold water in troughs surrounding the dive tanks when they pressurize them.

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