Connecticut Drought

Eastern CT Residents Asked to Preserve Water Amid Moderate-Level Drought

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We haven’t seen a lot of rain over the last several weeks, and that’s having an impact. On Thursday, two eastern counties were moved up to a stage three drought level, and people are being asked to conserve.

Lawns are looking a little less green and a little more brown. All across the state, we’re seeing below-normal levels of rainfall. Some water companies and municipalities are already taking action by either requesting or requiring water conservation. In East Lyme, a mandatory water restriction on lawn irrigation is in place.

“We asked people to limit to twice a week and, depending on the last digit of your home address, we asked you to do it on a specific day of the week,” East Lyme First Selectman Kevin Seery said.

Seery said the town is already hearing from people who have wells that are very low or much lower than normal.

During a virtual meeting, the Connecticut Interagency Drought Workgroup discussed the lack of rainfall. With the entire state at stage two drought conditions, they unanimously recommended, and the governor agreed, to increase New London and Windham counties to stage three out of five.

That puts those two counties at moderate drought levels, according to the state drought preparedness and response plan.

“I have a well, so of course I’m concerned. And I just keep hoping it’s going to rain and hoping people conserve water,” Old Lyme resident Gretchen Knauff said.

Knauff said she’s already taking steps to lower her water use.

“Try to wash more clothes together than I might have…make sure the dishwasher is full,” Knauff said.

The state does not mandate water conservation until stage four, but it recommends residents, businesses and governments take several steps to reduce their water use. That includes reducing watering lawns and gardens, fixing leaky plumbing and fixtures, taking shorter showers, shutting off water while washing dishes, shaving, or brushing teeth, and avoiding washing vehicles or power-washing buildings.

“I hope other people will do it too. Just think about your neighbors,” Knauff said.

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) said that they’re getting continuous reports of fires starting but that, luckily, most of them haven’t grown to a significant size. They say a lot of the fires are started by campfires that people aren’t extinguishing properly.

For more information on the drought conditions declaration and on the state’s drought preparedness and response plan, you can head here.

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