NJDEP Statement - July 25, 2016:
The persistent dry, hot weather pattern that has been degrading water supply indicators over the past few months, has prompted the issuance of a Drought Watch on July 25, 2016, for the State’s three northernmost regions – Northeast, Northwest and Central. The affected drought regions encompass eleven New Jersey counties – Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren counties. The Drought Watch announcement calls for voluntary efforts by the public to conserve water, especially outdoors for activities such as lawn and landscape watering and other water-dependent activities in and around the home.
The status of the drinking water supply indicators tracked by the NJDEP is as follows – stream flows and shallow ground water levels are ranked “severely” dry in the three Watch regions. Reservoir storage overall is in fairly good shape, although levels in key systems in the Northeast and Central region are below average and dropping more steeply than is normal. This is due to abnormally hot weather and very high customer demands. In order to stretch existing supplies, all citizens are asked to use water wisely and avoid unnecessary water waste.
The purpose of the drought watch is to raise public awareness, formally alert all water suppliers in the affected regions, and seek voluntary cooperation to preserve existing supplies. The goal is to moderate demand should dry conditions persist.
Water Conservation: Ideas for Saving Water
New Jersey is often referred to as being “water rich” since we typically receive about 45 inches of precipitation annually. However, rainfall varies from year to year and even regionally within the state (the hilly northwest is generally wetter than the coastal plain to the southeast). Despite fairly abundant precipitation in most years, increased customer demands quickly deplete water reserves in even moderately dry years.
Summer outdoor water use increases dramatically as people water lawns and gardens, wash cars, and fill swimming pools. From May thru September, when hotter, drier weather conditions prevail, it is even more important to conserve water in order to avoid shortages and disruptive (and costly) water use restrictions.
By using water wisely, we can preserve more water in reservoirs and aquifers while sustaining levels in our streams, lakes and rivers. These water savings are simple to put into practice and enhance recreational uses and aesthetic enjoyment while providing and protecting habitat for our wildlife. They also can reduce the amount of public dollars spent on water supply infrastructure while minimizing energy costs and the unnecessary generation of greenhouse gases.
Follow these QUICK TIPS to Reduce Water Waste:
- Water lawns (and outdoor plants) less frequently (2-3 times per week) for no more than 30 minutes. This allows the soil to absorb the water and enables roots to grow more deeply, which encourages drought tolerance;
- Never water during the heat of the day, as this promotes evaporation and leads to water waste;
- Sprinkler systems should be set to water after sunset or before dawn, and by law should be equipped with an automated shut-off switch that disables the system following rainfall.
- Install water-saving showerheads and faucet aerators in the bathroom and kitchen (available at most home improvement stores and some supermarkets);
- Do not let faucets run when brushing your teeth or washing the dishes;
- Run washing machines and dishwashers only when they are full or select the properly sized wash cycle for the current laundry load;
- Use a broom to sweep the sidewalk, rather than a hose;
- Use mulch and native plants to conserve water in the garden;
- Use a rain barrel to capture water from a downspout to use later for watering gardens and plants;
- Use soaker hoses or drip irrigation to water trees, gardens and flower beds;
For more detailed information on how you can conserve water in and outside your home, click on the link. This site also includes related product information, environmental benefits and cost estimates, and a water use calculator to figure where you can conserve water in your daily routine.
Additional helpful water conservation tips are available at: http://njdrought.org/ideas.html.
Franklin Township is part of the Central Region
NJDEP - July 24, 2016 Supply Status
Remember, if we all do a little, we can save a LOT!
Last Updated 07/27/2016