Though it may be difficult for Torontonians—who are having an extremely wet summer—to believe, Regina and other parts of Saskatchewan are having their driest year since the 19th century. Conditions have gotten so dry this summer that farmers and homeowners are facing all sorts of obstacles that they would rarely face in a typical year.
Over six homeowners have already had fires break out as a result of exploded electricity meters. Under the wrong circumstances, those fires can quickly spread across a household and leave a wake of charred property and billowing black smoke. Saskatchewan energy authority SaskPower has been conducting inspections on houses throughout the province, and as of August 1, it had determined the 800 of the 2,000 homes it had inspected were in need of electricity meter repairs.
Meanwhile, farmers have plenty of concerns that could drastically impact their livelihood. Many are worried about a looming hay shortage. Rouleau, SK farmer Bill Aulie says that he has only harvested about 1,200 bales of hay this summer, far less than the 3,000-5,000 he typically manages.
The hay shortage bodes poorly for the health of farm animals—as does the heat itself. In July, 200 cattle at a farm near Shamrock, SK died as a result of dehydration and salt poisoning, caused as a result of the animals' water source drying up.
Farmers and gardeners have had to personally water crops more than ever before. Even then though, it doesn't have the same effect as rainfall on the health of the crops. Canola, wheat, lentil and other fruits of the earth are all in jeopardy of vastly underperforming when it comes time to harvest.
A rainy August could potentially help the situation a bit, but the bulk of the damage has already been done; and according to Environment Canada, the August forecast isn't promising, rain-wise. Farmers' best option at this point is to make the best of the situation and hope for better in 2018.