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NJ DEPT. OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

IMMEDIATE RELEASE
10/24/02
02/110

Contact: Elaine Makatura
609-292-9289

NEW JERSEY ENVIRONMENTAL COMMISSIONER EASES DROUGHT RESTRICTIONS
Calls for Continued Water Conservation

(02/110) Burlington , NJ---New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell today announced revisions to the current drought restrictions at a drought conference held at the New Jersey EcoComplex in Columbus. Although many restrictions will stay in effect, outdoor lawn watering will be allowed every other day on an odd-even basis statewide, while township specific restrictions remain in place.

"Given the recent rainfall and cooler temperatures, we are easing restrictions to help homeowners and to reduce the economic impacts of the drought," Campbell said. "By no means should this action mislead people to think that the drought emergency is over. Instead, we must remain prudent. Water conservation continues to be of the utmost importance to ensure sufficient water supplies are available throughout the upcoming months."

October rainfall has partially alleviated the immediate severity of the statewide drought emergency. Recent combined northeast reservoir systems show an increase of just over two percent from their historic average. Groundwater recovery in northern New Jersey has also been rising. However, the entire coastal plain of the state continues to lag behind with groundwater levels remaining below normal.

"The rainfall has impacted areas of the state differently. Groundwater levels and stream flow in southern New Jersey have not recovered and remain below normal for this time of year, so we need to err on the side of caution," added Campbell. "We must remember that just as quickly as water levels rise with rain, they will drop immediately without it."

The restriction on washing of a vehicle at a residence has been eased and is allowed on weekends only. The state will continue to assess the water situation and will make other recommendations as warranted.

For more information on the drought, please visit the DEP drought website at www.njdrought.org. The revised administrative order is also available.

 

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