Concord, NH – According to the U.S. Drought Monitor released today, over the past five weeks the entire state of New Hampshire has been categorized as abnormally dry and the 3-Month Seasonal Drought Outlook, also released today, predicts that drought development is likely. Over the last 60 days, the majority of the state has received approximately 50% expected precipitation. NHDES urges the public to be conservation-minded and to begin limiting outdoor water use, including refraining from landscape watering and limiting any watering to between 7pm and 8am. Also, NHDES recommends residents suspend other outdoor water uses such as power washing, washing cars, and washing down large surfaces such as driveways and sidewalks.
Stacey Herbold, Water Conservation and Water Use Program Coordinator at NHDES, states that, "When conditions are abnormally dry and drought indicators predict a likely drought looming, it is time to take action. While hundreds of homeowners' wells went dry during the 2016/2017 drought and a handful of public water systems struggled, the majority of public water systems worked very hard to manage their supplies successfully with a major player in that success being the help of the public limiting outdoor water use. By taking action now we delay any impending shortages and create a buffer of time to prepare for reduced supplies."
NHDES has prepared a series of drought and water efficiency guidance documents to assist the public, municipalities, and water utilities. There are also available surveys for homeowners on private wells and other private well users to report water shortages and costs, as well as a form for water systems and municipalities to report outdoor water use restrictions. For this information go to www.des.nh.gov and scroll down to Drought Management.