New Jersey’s Commissioner of Environmental Protection Shawn LaTourette has issued a statewide drought watch, and the Murphy administration is urging residents and businesses to conserve water amid hot and dry conditions throughout the state this summer.
The drought watch doesn’t change anything on a practical level; it is intended to get New Jerseyans to appreciate the low water levels and take steps to conserve water.
The drought watch is the first in New Jersey’s three-state drought advisory system. If things don’t get better, the drought watch will be upgraded to a “drought warning.” If it gets even worse, it will be upgraded to a “drought emergency,” in which mandatory water restrictions could be implemented.
“Stream flow and ground water levels are falling below normal for most of the state and some reservoirs are showing steep rates of decline as hot and dry conditions continue,” LaTourette said. “While water conservation is always important, it becomes critical during prolonged dry and hot periods like New Jersey has been experiencing. If residents and businesses do all they can to reduce water demand, together we can ensure ample supplies in the coming weeks and months.”