Water shortages, rationing may be in the cards for Okinawa

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Okinawa received only about 50 percent of expected rainfall in March and April, said Isao Arime, a spokesman for the Okinawa regional headquarters of the Japan Meteorological Agency. (COURTESY OF GINOWAN CITY)
From Stripes.com
Okinawa received only about 50 percent of expected rainfall in March and April, said Isao Arime, a spokesman for the Okinawa regional headquarters of the Japan Meteorological Agency. (COURTESY OF GINOWAN CITY)

Water shortages, rationing may be in the cards for Okinawa

by: Matthew M. Burke and Chiyomi Sumida | .
Stars and Stripes | .
published: May 19, 2017

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Reservoir levels at their second lowest in a decade could mean water rationing throughout Okinawa — including at military bases — if this year’s rainy season delivers a low yield.

The island received only about 50 percent of expected rainfall in March and April, said Isao Arime, a spokesman for the Okinawa regional headquarters of the Japan Meteorological Agency. That has left Okinawa’s nine nationally owned major reservoirs at 44.7 percent of capacity as of May 2.

Officials declined to say how much precipitation is needed this rainy season to avoid shortages and rationing, saying that any such estimate could affect tourism. However, they did say they were “not optimistic.”

Last year’s March and April offered “heavy rains, which ended up causing the reservoirs to discharge water,” Arime said. “What we hope for this year is a good rainfall in May and June.”

Read more at: https://www.stripes.com/1.469138