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.