The excessive heat and humidity New Jersey has been experiencing for the past week to ten days is taking its toll reservoirs, lawns, shrubs, golf courses and anything else you can think of which needs water. As a result, today the Garden State issued a drought watch statewide.
State officials are urging residents and businesses from Cape May to Sussex, from Camden to Bergen and everywhere in between, to conserve water now or risk restrictions later.
This morning, Governor Phil Murphy’s administration asked businesses and residents in the New Jersey to reduce watering their lawns, washing their vehicles, and to begin “cutting back nonessential uses such as hosing off driveways and sidewalks.” State officials say more than 30 percent of water demand in suburban areas is for outdoor purposes in the summer.
New Jersey Commissioner of Environmental Protection Shawn M. LaTourette said today, “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. 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.”
National data currently shows Hudson County in moderate drought conditions.
Historically, New Jersey last declared a drought warning in 2016 for 14 northern and central counties. The state’s last drought emergency with water use restrictions was from March 2002-Jan. 2003.