Harding Twp. Emergency Preparedness Committee would like to
alert residents that the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
(DEP) has just issued a "Drought Watch" for Three New Jersey Regions.
One being Morris County.
Residents in the
affected areas are being asked to voluntarily conserve water and for the rest
of the state to practice wise water use due to continued dry weather and
The following notice was released by NJ DEP Officials on September 23, 2015
WATER SUPPLY DROUGHT WATCH ISSUED FOR THREE
NEW JERSEY REGIONS RESIDENTS ASKED TO VOLUNTARILY CONSERVE WATER
(15/P80) TRENTON -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
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
Some suggested water conservation tips include:
* Do not over-water lawns and landscaping. Two times
per week for 30 minutes in morning or late evening typically is sufficient. Use
a hose with a hand-held nozzle to water flowers and shrubs.
* Avoid watering lawns and plants during the heat of
the day, as this promotes evaporation and water waste.
* Use a broom to sweep the sidewalk, rather than a
* To save water at home, fix leaky faucets and pipes.
* Turn off the faucet while brushing teeth and
* Run washing machines and dishwashers only when
The DEP has observed significant reservoir level declines in some water
systems, particularly United Water New Jersey's Oradell reservoir system in
Bergen County. While measurable rainfall during the second week of September
provided some temporary relief, it did not appreciably improve the water supply
situation in the three drought regions. Additionally, the National Weather
Service's Climate Prediction Center is projecting above-average temperatures
and dry weather to continue through October.
United Water New Jersey serves approximately 800,000 customers in Bergen and
northern Hudson counties. Although combined reservoir storage across
Northeastern New Jersey is only marginally below normal for this time of year,
the region is potentially vulnerable because of United Water New Jersey's
reliance on other major suppliers to complement its supply when demands are
unusually high. If current conditions persist, other interconnected water
systems could be adversely affected if inflated demands are left unchecked.
Other drinking water supply indicators are also showing signs of stress from
the dry weather and high water demands, including stream flows and ground water
levels, as well as declining reservoir storage in the New Jersey Water Supply
Authority's Spruce Run and Manasquan Reservoirs in Hunterdon and Monmouth
While plentiful rains in June replenished reservoirs, stream flow and ground
water sources, very dry, warm weather in July and August resulted in high water
usage that has continued into September.
If conditions remain warm and dry and water demands do not decrease, DEP will
consider further regulatory actions, such as the designation of a drought
warning. Under a drought warning, the DEP may order water purveyors to develop
alternative sources of water or transfer of water between areas of New Jersey
with relatively more water to those with less.
"We are asking residents across the state, and particularly in the three
drought watch regions, to use water sparingly, and to voluntarily reduce
nonessential water use, especially outdoors,'' said Dan Kennedy, DEP Assistant
Commissioner for Water Resources Management. "We advocate for conservation
of water at all times. But responsible water use at this time is especially
important. We ask that residents take voluntary steps such as limiting lawn and
landscaping watering, and cutting back on water-related chores at home, such as
car washing. This could save millions of gallons of water daily."
For more state water supply status information, visit: www.njdrought.org/status.html.
For more information on water conservation, visit: www.njdrought.org/ideas.html