RECENT RAIN HELPS TO
IMPROVE WATER SUPPLY SHORTAGE
WHILE ONGOING DROUGHT EMERGENCY PERSISTS
(02/117) Trenton---Unprecedented voluntary
and mandatory water conservation efforts undertaken by residents,
businesses and water companies combined with recent wet
weather prompted Department of Environmental Protection
(DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell today to revise
some of the mandatory water use restrictions in portions
of New Jersey.
"The good news is that in the past two months we received
more rain than we did during the six months from September
2001 through February 2002, which is normally our prime
rainfall season. But due to uncertainties in predicting
weather patterns and continuing low ground water and stream
flow levels in the southern portion of the state, it is
imperative to keep the drought emergency in place statewide,"
said Campbell. "The primary message today is the same:
We must continue to conserve water."
There have been significant improvements in water levels
in the Northeast, Northwest, and Central drought regions.
Considering the improvements in these drought regions, mandatory
water use restrictions are lifted and replaced by voluntary
water conservation efforts. In all instances any water use
should be the minimum necessary to carry out any activity.
While water levels have increased in the Coastal North,
Coastal South and Southwest Drought regions, ground water
levels remain at record low levels causing mandatory restrictions
to stay in effect. These restrictions include lawn and non-lawn
watering on an odd-even basis during certain times of day
and washing of vehicles at residences on weekends only.
"Because of the geology in the southern portion of
New Jersey water recharge and recovery in these aquifers
take longer," Campbell added. "Our southern aquifers
fill up immediately following rainfall but drop quickly
as soon as the rain stops."
Another provision of the drought order is the promotion
of wastewater reuse in all six-drought regions.
For more information on the drought,
please visit the DEP drought website at www.njdrought.org.
administrative order is also available.