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SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — Nagasaki prefecture and Sasebo city officials are concerned that a lack of rainfall this month could create a need to implement water-use restrictions.

Without additional rain, it is probable water restrictions will begin in early July, said a spokesman for the Sasebo Water Bureau. Longtime Sasebo residents say drought-induced water restrictions haven’t been seen in the area for more than a decade.

The rain tally for the past month was less than 1 inch, “which is only 11 percent of the annual average” for the same period in most years, said Shigeo Takada, a forecaster with the Nagasaki Marine Meteorological Observatory.

The chances of significantly more rain don’t look good for the coming week, Takada said.

“However, some good rain is expected in July,” he predicted.

Water available in Sasebo City’s six reservoirs, which supply the base as well as the surrounding city, can last for about 35 days, according to Takehiko Hokao, the city’s bureau spokesman.

But Sasebo Naval Base is stressing water conservation now, even before official restrictions, said Lt. j.g. Brian Foster, assistant public works officer. For example, the Public Works department already has cut back on the frequency of washing the base’s official vehicles, he said.

Base spokesman Charles T. Howard said the command is entirely supportive of whatever action the city might take to protect its water needs.

“We’ll basically take our lead from the city as far as any official restrictions,” he said.

“We have our fingers crossed,” Howard said. “Hopefully, downpours will come and the reservoirs will fill.”

Ways to conserve water

Lt. (j.g.) Brian Foster, Sasebo Naval Base’s assistant public works officer, said the following actions can conserve a lot of water over time:

Take short showers.Don’t water lawns or if you do, water late in the day so water won’t evaporate quickly.Wash vehicles only when absolutely necessary.Wash fewer large loads of clothing rather than several small loads.Place a brick in the toilet water tank to reduce the amount of water used per flush.— Greg Tyler

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