The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Dry Campus: Greensboro Plagued by Drought


Despite a refreshing rainstorm on Aug. 30, which like the other three rainstorms of August deposited less than half an inch of rain, Greensboro and most of North Carolina are still plagued by drought. Greensboro’s summer has been a dry one, with water levels receding back in early July and local rainfall well below average. August had a total rainfall of 1.09 inches, a total much smaller than the month’s normal 3.71 inches of rainfall.

Despite these conditions, it was not until Aug. 24 that the city was cited as having “severe drought” conditions.

The effects of severe drought are apparent on campus. The lake looks parched and vegetation seems lifeless.

Vegetation, wildlife and people are all victims of drought. Wild animals suffer from loss of habitat, plants do not grow successfully, the quality of air and water go down, and the economy is hurt.

Along with harming nature, droughts destroy nature’s beauty as well.

Sophomore Elissa Hachmeister expressed frustration at the effects the drought will have on trees when autumn arrives.

“It stinks that there’s a drought, because when autumn comes the leaves will be less vibrant and they’ll fall from the trees earlier,” Hachmeister said.

Like nature, the city’s water resources are threatened by drought. Greensboro has taken action to preserve the remaining supply.

Restrictions were put into effect on Aug. 27 that are concurrent with conditions of severe drought and water shortages. The restrictions include eliminating unnecessary use of water and reducing necessary water usage.

Just as the City of Greensboro has reacted to the drought, students have taken notice and been active too, posting signs around campus, from Mary Hobbs Hall to Founders Hall, suggesting effective ways to conserve water.

Junior Kat Siladi, a member of Forevergreen, is behind the movement to increase awareness on campus.

“People come from all over the United States and (they) aren’t always aware of local conditions in Greensboro regarding the drought,” Siladi said.

Siladi also took action because she felt the administration fell short in getting information out.

“The administration put a message on the Buzz which said students should email Facilities if they wanted information regarding the drought and water restrictions. But not everyone reads the Buzz, and it’s not the most reliable place to get a message out” said Siladi.

First-year Marcus Edghill feels that some people, despite seeing information about the drought, don’t realize the gravity of the situation.

“I’m really concerned that some people seem not to care,” Edghill said. “I live in Binford and some people in my dorm vandalized the signs about water conservation as if the drought is some sort of joke. But we all need to be aware.”

Despite the water restrictions and signs on campus, some students still seem unaware of the drought conditions and needlessly waste water. One example is in Bryan Hall where some residents engage in water fights, chasing one another with large buckets filled to the brim with water.

Junior Laura Houpt, a Bryan Hall resident, found the water fights inconsiderate.

“It seemed like these people had no regard for the environment,” said Houpt. “I realize people want to have fun and cool off, but go swimming. Or better yet, instead of throwing buckets of water, throw buckets of cheap beer. There’s certainly not a cheap beer drought on campus.”

It seems hard to be unaware of the drought given the scorching temperatures and dry afternoons on record since school resumed, and the 10-day forecast is predicting another week of moisture-free 90-degree days that will only exacerbate the drought conditions.

Though the hot and dry days of summer are lingering, the U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook predicts the conditions will improve throughout the months of autumn.

Meanwhile, North Carolinians will have to forego manicuring their lawns and washing their cars. And Bryan Hall will have to stop the water fights.

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