Due to an abnormal lack of rainfall this summer, NYS Department of Environment Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos issued a drought watch for the July 15, 2016. Currently, much of the Western and Central New York region has been declared to be facing a Severe Drought. According to the U.S Drought Portal, droughts affected 102.7 million people in the United States between July 20-26, 2016.
There are many ways that residents can save water to lessen the impact of the drought. The Red Cross recommends that individuals and families prepare for droughts by:
Indoor Water Conservation Tips:
- * Repair dripping faucets.
- * Make sure homes are leak-free.
- * Take shorter showers.
- * Don't let the water run while brushing teeth, or shaving.
- * Operate dishwashers only when they are full using “light wash” feature.
- * Start a compost pile as an alternate way to dispose of food waste.
- * Only operate laundry machines when they are full, or set the water level according to the size of your load.
- * When purchasing a new appliance, choose one that is energy and water efficient.
Outdoor Water Conservation Tips:
- * Reuse excess water to water lawn and garden.
- * Keep lawn and garden watering to a minimum and water in short sessions.
- * Use mulch to retain moisture in the soil.
- * Plant native and/or drought-tolerant grasses, ground covers, shrubs, and trees.
- * Cover pools and spas when not in use to reduce evaporation of water.
- *If you have a well at home, check your pump periodically. If the pump turns on and off while water is not being used, you have a leak.
- * Contact your local water authority or utility district, or your local emergency management agency for information specific to your community.
- * Participate in public conservation meetings
- * Follow water conservation and water shortage rules. You’re included in the restrictions even if your water comes from a private well.
For more information on drought preparedness, visit www.redcross.org.