City officials in the Norwegian capital are making another effort to get Oslo residents and businesses to reduce their water consumption. A lack of precipitation this winter has left water levels in Oslo reservoirs unusually low.
They’re normally around 86 percent full at this time of year, and due to fill up in springtime with snowmelt. Now they’re down to 68.5 percent, and that’s setting off alarms. The rain and snow that fell over most of southeastern Norway earlier this week wasn’t nearly enough, and the winter snowpack is so low that it won’t provide much water when temperatures rise.
“In the 16 years I’ve worked here, we’ve never had to send out warnings like this,” Sigurd Grande, a divisional director at Oslo’s water and sewer department told newspaper Aftenposten.
Now the city is imploring residents to save water. Consumption fell when the city sent out its first warnings a few weeks ago, but then they rose again. New calls are going out for shorter showers, turning off water while brushing teeth and only running washing machines and dishwashers with full loads. The lack of precipitation is also what’s causing Norway’s record-high electricity rates at present.