The Murphy Administration is asking residents and businesses to conserve water as the state continues to experience a persistent period of hot and dry weather.
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection is responsible for monitoring and protecting the state’s water supply to ensure ample clean, safe water for drinking and other needs. DEP’s Division of Water Supply and Geoscience has been closely monitoring the drier than usual conditions this summer.
While these conditions have not significantly impacted drinking water supply indicators statewide, persistently hot and dry conditions could adversely affect water supplies. It is important that residents and businesses take proactive steps to help moderate their use of water to help ensure ample supplies throughout the summer.
“Now is the time for New Jersey to be especially mindful of water usage and proactively moderate our consumption,” said Commissioner of Environmental Protection Shawn M. LaTourette. “Although our reservoirs and other indicators are healthy, persistent hot and dry weather coupled with the high water demands of summer can quickly impact water supply. Simple steps, like reducing lawn and landscape watering, go a long way in preserving our water supplies and avoiding the necessity of significant restrictive measures.”
Current water demands are being met and New Jersey’s water systems are capable of handling periods of low precipitation. Reservoir levels are near long-term averages for this time of year and groundwater supplies are near normal, with the central and southern portions of the state tending to be drier. Local conditions can vary, so it is normal for individual water systems and municipalities to periodically request that their customers reduce water use.
According to the US Drought Monitor, which defines drought more broadly than DEP, Trenton is currently in the Abnormally Dry category meaning crop growth is stunded, and planting is delayed. There is a higher chance of fire, and lawns or gardens will begin to wilt. However, that is to change this week with rain on the forecast, as the weekend looks to bring relief to the area.
The DEP will continue to monitor water supplies very closely and advise the public, local governments, and water systems as appropriate. For a DEP microsite on water conservation measures visit https://dep.nj.gov/conserve-water/
The most up-to-date information about the status of New Jersey’s water supplies can be found at www.njdrought.org, where you can also find more water conservation tips for your community.