HARTFORD, Conn. – The Connecticut Department of Public Health on Monday issued a drought advisory, warning that the state’s rain fall over the past 90 days is down as much as 6 inches.
The advisory calls for the customers of all public water systems in the state to “follow any water conservation recommendations that may be requested,” according to a statement from the department.
“I want to emphasize that water levels in Connecticut’s larger reservoirs and water systems are perfectly fine at this point. There are currently no reports of any Community Public Water Systems triggering their emergency contingency plans due to below normal reservoir capacities,” said Dr. Raul Pino, commissioner of public health, who later added, “However, we have not experienced as much rain as we typically do to this point in the year. Therefore, people should be conscientious about their water consumption so that we don’t begin to experience drought conditions later this summer, particularly if rainfall continues to be below average.”
Pino further urged smaller water systems in the state with lower yielding supplies to “consider requesting water conservation measures from their customers.”
"If drier than usual conditions persist,” he said, “we may see systems requesting conservation measures to protect their water supply. Accordingly, we are asking all residents to comply with any conservation recommendations issued by their water companies and for well water customers to cut back on unnecessary water usage.”
The Department of Health, of DPH, is one of several organizations involved in the Interagency Drought Advisory Workgroup, which works to monitor the state's precipitation.
Other Workgroup members include the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and the Chairman of the Public Utility Regulatory Authority (PURA), which monitors and analyzes water-related data to ensure that Connecticut’s water supplies remain stable.
According to the DPH statement, the Workgroup met earlier Monday, when, after finding that five of seven drought benchmarks were present, they decided a drought advisory was needed.
Those benchmarks include precipitation, groundwater, streamflow, the Palmer Drought Index and fire danger. The remaining benchmarks - reservoir levels and the Crop Moisture Index - have not been met, according to the agency’s statement.
The drought advisory is the first such measure the state has to taken since 2010, according to the DPH, which noted that drought advisories were also reported in 2002, and 2007.
The DPH statement said officials may eventually declare a drought watch if poor conditions persist.
Learn more about the DPH water conservation efforts affecting businesses and residents on private wells here .
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