Connecticut residents are being asked to reduce water usage as all eight counties enter level two of the five stages of drought conditions, Office of Policy and Management
However, the Metropolitan District Commission said that while water conservation is always prudent, there are currently no mandatory or voluntary water use restrictions being requested of MDC customers.
Officials from the Office of Policy and Management said Gov. Ned Lamont has approved a recommendation by the State of Connecticut’s Interagency Drought Working Group to declare that all eight Connecticut counties are experiencing Stage 2 Drought conditions.
What Stage 2 Drought Conditions in CT Mean for You
Residents and businesses across the state are being asked to:
- Reduce automatic outdoor irrigation
- Postpone the planting of any new lawns or vegetation
- Minimize overall water use by fixing leaky plumbing and fixtures
- Follow any additional conservation requests issued by water suppliers or municipalities
Stage 2, the second of five stages of drought, identifies an emerging drought event, potentially impacting water supplies, agriculture, or natural ecosystems, according to state officials.
“Residents should be mindful of their water consumption and take sensible steps to reduce impacts on other water uses and on the environment,” Lamont said in a statement. “We must begin early steps now to mitigate the potential for harm should the drought become prolonged.”
Office of Policy & Management Undersecretary Martin Heft, who chairs the Interagency Drought Workgroup, said in a statement that “precipitation shortfalls and an extended period above normal temperatures have impacted the state’s water resources and increased demands upon them.”
He said residents should not be alarmed but should begin taking steps now to reduce their water usage.
The state has experienced this level of drought five times in the past two decades, in 2002, 2007, 2010, 2016 and 2020, according to the Office of Policy and Management. They said if conditions deteriorate further, the state could reach Stage 3.
Officials warn that residents who depend on private wells, fire or irrigation ponds, and other highly localized water resources should be especially mindful of local conditions, especially in places where previous droughts have affected supplies.
Aquarion Water Company is reminding its customers about the importance of water conservation and said customers in 13 towns are under a mandatory, twice-weekly irrigation schedule until Oct. 31.
Aquarion customers in the Fairfield County towns of Darien, Fairfield, Greenwich, New Canaan, Newtown, Stamford and Westport; the Hartford County towns of East Granby, Granby, and Simsbury; and the New London County towns of Groton, Mystic, and Stonington should continue following the mandatory, twice-weekly sprinkler irrigation schedule.
If the last digit of your address number is 0 or even, water only on Sunday and Wednesday, between 12:01 a.m. and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. to midnight.
If the last digit of your address number is odd, water only on Saturday and Tuesday, between 12:01 a.m. and 10 a.m. or 6 p.m. to midnight.
If you have no address number, water only on Sunday and Wednesday, between 12:01 a.m. and 10 a.m., or 6 p.m. to midnight.
Aquarion also encourages customers who live outside of these 13 towns to voluntarily follow this schedule as an easy way to conserve water.
“As a precaution, we’re asking for our customers’ participation as we work to conserve water,” said Donald Morrissey, Aquarion President. “Our reservoir levels are currently sufficient, and we’re hopeful that rain amounts will soon return to normal. With our customers’ support, we are better able to mitigate the impacts of the current drought conditions.”
Aquarion is encouraging customers to take the following actions:
Outdoor water conservation measures
- Adjust your lawn mower to a higher setting. A taller lawn provides shade to the roots and helps retain soil moisture, so your lawn requires less water.
- Reduce your sprinkler setting to our two days per week schedule. The grass roots will grow deeper and make your grass more drought tolerant.
- Adjust your sprinklers so that they're watering your lawn and garden, and not the street or sidewalk.
- Use hand watering or drip irrigation for shrubs and flowers.
- Delay new plantings until the fall.
- Inspect your overall irrigation system for leaks, broken lines or blockage in the lines. A well-maintained system will save you money, water, and time.
Indoor water conservation measures
- Turn off the water while lathering up, shaving, or brushing your teeth.
- Minimize baths and the amount of water you use for each. Trim one minute off the length of your showers.
- Wash only full loads in your dishwasher and washing machine.
- Handwash dishes in a pan or the sink, not under continuous running water.
- Reuse dehumidifier water or use a bucket to capture shower and bath water while you wait for it to warm up; then use the water to water your plants.
The MDC said that, even with recent dry conditions, the MDC drinking water reservoir supply stood at over 94.5% of capacity as of Thursday, which represents approximately 628 days of supply in storage.
The MDC said it will continue to monitor weather conditions and reservoir levels and advise customers if and when conditions warrant any water use restrictions in our service area.
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