Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin today issued a drought watch for New Jersey’s Northeast, Central, and Coastal North water supply regions, urging residents in the affected areas to voluntarily conserve water and for the rest of the state to practice wise water use due to continued dry weather and above-average temperatures.
The drought watch is prompted by continued rainfall deficits that have decreased reservoir, ground water and streamflow levels in the three regions.
The purpose of the watch is to raise public awareness, formally alert all water suppliers in the region of the situation, and to seek voluntary cooperation to preserve existing supplies in the affected regions, with water demand still high.
The three affected drought regions include all or parts of 12 counties, including Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset and Union.
“We have been carefully tracking precipitation, stream flows, ground water and reservoir levels since the spring and over the course of the very dry summer,” Commissioner Martin said. “While it is not uncommon to see reduced stream flows and ground water levels by the end of the summer season, we are beginning to observe signs of stress in our water supply indicators, and this warrants closer scrutiny and public cooperation.”
“We are asking residents to be aware of the situation and use water more carefully and deliberatively, especially when it comes to lawn watering and other non-essential uses. The goal is to moderate water demand through voluntary conservation.”