DEP declares statewide drought watch! Following an extended dry spell, DEP has declared a voluntary drought watch across the Commonwealth. While not required, residents and businesses are encouraged to voluntarily conserve water by reducing their nonessential water use.
Although there has been some welcoming rain too much of the area, it’s not enough to make up for the lack of rainfall this spring, as a result, we’re seeing lowered stream flows, and dropping groundwater levels.
Residents and businesses are encouraged to reduce their nonessential water use by 5–10 percent. For example, at home there are many simple ways to use less water:
- Run the dishwasher and washing machine less often, and only with full loads.
- Don’t let the faucet run while brushing your teeth or shaving. Take shorter showers. For example, consider not washing your hair daily.
- Water your lawn only if necessary. Avoid watering on windy and hot days. Watering grass lightly and efficiently will encourage healthier, deeper grass roots. Overwatering is wasteful, encourages fungal growth and disease, and results in shallow, compacted root systems that are more susceptible to drought.
- When mowing your lawn, set the blades 2-3 inches high. Longer grass shades the soil, improving moisture retention.
- Water your garden less often. If necessary, water only in the cooler evening or morning hours, and direct the water to the ground at the base of the plant. Focus on new plantings, which have shallow root systems. Older plants may endure dry conditions longer.
- Skip the car washing. If you have to wash your car, it’s better environmentally to go to a drive-through car wash that recycles the water.
- Sweep your sidewalk, deck, or driveway, instead of hosing it off.
- Check for and repair household leaks. For example, a leaking toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water daily.