DEP Declares Statewide Drought Watch

Updated: June 16, 2023

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has declared a statewide drought watch.  Drought watch, warning, and emergency status declarations aren’t based on one indicator alone, such as precipitation.  DEP assesses information provided by public water suppliers and data on four hydrologic indicators: precipitation, surface water (stream and river) flow, groundwater level, and soil moisture.  “Although this week has brought some welcome rain to much of the state, it’s not enough to make up for the lack of rainfalls this spring, following a winter that brought little snowfall in many areas,” said DEP Acting Secretary Rich Negrin.  “As a result, we’re seeing lowered stream flows, dropping groundwater levels, and persistent precipitation deficits.  Water conservation, always a good practice, is especially helpful now as it’ll lessen potential future impacts on water supplies if rainfall continues to be scant this summer.”

Residents and businesses are encouraged to reduce their nonessential water use by 5 – 10 percent.  You can find other tips for conserving water here.

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