DEC Commissioner Issues Drought Watch

Posted on: July 20th, 2016 by Leslie_Zucker

New York State Depart­ment of Envi­ron­men­tal Con­ser­va­tion (DEC) Com­mis­sion­er Basil Seg­gos on Fri­day issued a drought watch for the entire state of New York fol­low­ing con­sul­ta­tion with the State Drought Man­age­ment Task Force and Fed­er­al part­ner agencies.

“While most pub­lic water sup­plies are still gen­er­al­ly nor­mal through­out the state, below nor­mal pre­cip­i­ta­tion over the last nine months, low stream flows, and reduced ground­wa­ter lev­els have prompt­ed the need for this action,” Com­mis­sion­er Seg­gos said. “We are encour­ag­ing res­i­dents through­out the state to con­serve water when­ev­er pos­si­ble dur­ing the com­ing months.”

The drought watch is trig­gered by the State Drought Index, which reflects pre­cip­i­ta­tion lev­els, reservoir/lake lev­els, and stream flow and ground­wa­ter lev­els in nine des­ig­nat­ed drought regions through­out New York.

Observed pre­cip­i­ta­tion has been less than nor­mal with short­falls of four to eight inch­es com­mon over the last 90 days. The dry weath­er dates back to the Octo­ber 1st start of the “water year” and is begin­ning to sig­nif­i­cant­ly affect oth­er water met­rics. Stream flows and ground­wa­ter lev­els are well below nor­mal through­out much of the state. Ground­wa­ter lev­els were sea­son­al­ly worse in June com­pared to May and they are not expect­ed to improve in the imme­di­ate future due to the exist­ing pre­cip­i­ta­tion deficit. For more detailed drought infor­ma­tion, please vis­it DEC’s web­site.