By: Savannah Scarborough, Follow South Jersey Intern
SOUTH JERSEY — As summer begins, the Murphy Administration continues reminding residents and businesses to conserve water as dry weather persists.
The DEP’s Division of Water Supply and Geoscience has been monitoring the drier-than-usual conditions in New Jersey. According to the Division of Water Supply and Geoscience, the west and south regions of the state have been drier.
“We are asking the public to be especially mindful of water usage and proactively moderate consumption at this time,” said Commissioner of Environmental Protection Shawn M. LaTourette.
New Jersey has had less than half its normal rainfall within the last month and a half. Furthermore, within the previous four months, the state has entirely had less than normal rainfall.
“Should rainfall remain below normal and hotter weather arrive, drought will likely emerge, and water resources become greatly stressed. However, should rainfall rise to normal levels in the weeks ahead, New Jersey should avoid drought and major water worries,” said State Climatologist David Robinson.
Certain surrounding states, like Pennsylvania, have declared statewide drought watches where residents and businesses are requested to reduce nonessential water use voluntarily.
“Although the state is not declaring a water supply drought watch now, simple steps, such as reducing lawn and landscape watering, go a long way in preserving our water supplies and avoiding the necessity of restrictive measures in the future,” said the Commissioner of Environmental Protection Shawn M. LaTourette.
Due to the decrease in rainfall, New Jersey’s water supply drought indicators are declining. Despite the state’s water systems being capable of handling periods of low precipitation, to avoid a declared drought, residents and businesses need to help by reducing their water to ensure adequate supplies for the summer.
New Jersians should be aware that local conditions may vary. It is common for individual water systems or municipalities to request or require that customers reduce water use before the state declares a statewide drought. However, when something like that does occur, the state encourages a 2-day per week irrigation restriction to reduce the adverse impacts the reductions might cause.
“As the largest water and wastewater service provider in the state, we understand the importance of conserving our most precious resource, especially during the summer months,” said Mark McDonough, president of New Jersey American Water. “Incorporating wise water practices into your daily life throughout the season can help us avoid more stringent restrictions as temperatures continue to climb. As an added bonus, using less water will also result in a lower water bill.”
To find the restrictions and rules individual water systems or municipalities must follow, click here.
As temperatures continue rising, the DEP monitors water supplies and informs the public, local governments, and water systems. Click here for more information about potential droughts, dry season, and the DEP.
For more information about water conservation, click here.
For additional information about droughts, visit the US Drought Monitor here. The US Drought Monitor more broadly describes droughts and can indicate when drought or pre-drought conditions are present before water supplies are determined to be below normal by DEP’s Division of Water Supply and Geoscience.
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