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State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 8, 2006

Contact: Elaine Makatura
(609) 292-2994

NEW JERSEY ENVIRONMENTAL COMMISSIONER URGES WATER CONSERVATION STATEWIDE

Wildfire Danger continues to be high across New Jersey

(06/34) TRENTON -- As an unusually dry spring continues to deplete New Jersey's water resources, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Lisa P. Jackson today declared a drought watch and urged everyone to use water wisely.

"Water is a resource we can't afford to take for granted," Commissioner Jackson said. "Before demand peaks, we are asking every resident to help avert a possible water crisis. Right now, we have enough to use, but not enough to waste. All of us can take simple steps to conserve the supplies we will desperately need later if the spring and summer remain dry."

The DEP's tracking of New Jersey's six drought regions shows a steady decline in key water-supply criteria, including precipitation, stream flow and unconfined ground water levels. Stream flows, which react to fluctuations in precipitation, are considered severely dry throughout most of New Jersey. In the northeast drought region, stream flow levels are extremely dry. Ground water levels are moderately dry in all six-drought regions.

As New Jersey begins its high seasonal water demand period from May through September, already-low water supplies may be further diminished without normal to above-normal rainfall.

To avoid the need for more restrictive, mandatory water-use measures, the DEP urges the public to take steps to voluntarily conserve water, including:

  • limit lawn watering to twice a week, preferably in the morning or early evening to minimize evaporation. Water landscaping by hand only as needed.
  • Fix leaking faucets and pipes in the home, and turn off the faucet while brushing teeth and shaving.
  • Turn off faucets when not in use.
  • Install water conserving faucet and showerheads.
  • Run washing machines and dishwashers only when full.

Further, campfire restrictions are in place in northern New Jersey to prevent brush fires. Fires directly on the ground are prohibited unless in a prepared fire ring, which must be constructed of steel, stone, brick, or concrete with a gravel or masonry base.

To learn more about water conservation, visit www.njdrought.org. For additional information on fire restrictions, visit www.njwildfire.org.

 

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Last Updated: May 8, 2006