Parts of the West are already in extreme drought ahead of wildfire season, and officials in some areas are worried about an uptick in fire action as more people emerge from coronavirus-related lockdowns and resume outdoor activities like hiking and camping.
The way we use water is one of the many aspects of daily life that has changed in lockdown.
Commercial use may be down, but domestic use has increased.
With greater levels of hand washing, tea drinking and gardening, demand has risen “considerably,” according to David Murray, a field technician for the water network.
Mr. Murray has worked with water for 35 years and has seen how our recent usage has put pressure on the system.
Wastewater could provide early, painless and localized data about the rise or fall of coronavirus levels.