Monroe, Pike under drought warning; Wayne on watch
HARRISBURG -- The Department of Environmental Protection today issued a drought warning for 24 Pennsylvania counties and a drought watch for the remaining 43 counties as precipitation deficits continued to build statewide according to Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger.
Monroe and Pike Counties are on the “Drought Warning” list. Wayne is under a “Drought Watch”.
“The hot, dry conditions over the summer months have led to steadily-declining ground and surface water levels, particularly in the southwest and east-central portions of the state,” Hanger said. “Pennsylvania’s Drought Task Force has concurred with DEP’s recommendation that drought watches and warnings be issued for all 67 counties to alert water suppliers, industry and the public of the need to begin conserving water.”
A drought watch declaration is the first level — and least severe — of the state’s three drought classifications. It calls for a voluntary 5 percent reduction in non-essential water use, and puts large water consumers on notice to begin planning for the possibility of reduced water supplies.
A drought warning asks residents to voluntarily reduce water use by 10-15 percent.
Precipitation deficits over the past 90-day period are currently as great as 5.6 inches below normal in Somerset County and 5.5 inches below normal in Bucks County.
DEP monitors a network of groundwater wells and stream gages across the state that provide comprehensive data to the state drought coordinator. In addition to precipitation, groundwater and streamflow levels, DEP monitors soil moisture and water supply storage, and shares this data with other state and federal agencies.
DEP offers the following tips for conserving water around the home:
In the bathroom:
The department also offers water conservation recommendations for commercial and industrial users such as food processors, hotels and motels, schools and colleges, as well as water audit procedures for large water customers.
Water conservation tips and drought information can be found online at www.depweb.state.pa.us, keyword: drought.
The 24 counties under a Drought Warning are: Allegheny, Beaver, Bedford, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Fayette, Franklin, Fulton, Greene, Huntingdon, Lackawanna, Lawrence, Lehigh, Luzerne, Mercer, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, Pike, Schuylkill, Somerset, and Washington.
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