State issues first drought advisory in 6 years due to rain deficit

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HARTFORD–The state has seen very little rain in the past several months, and in light of that the state Department of Public Health has issued a drought advisory.

According to DPH, the state is down as much as six inches of rain over the past 90 days, straining water systems.

DPH recommends that public water users follow water conservation recommendations requested by utility companies, and that businesses and residents that use private wells also follow DPH water conservation advice.

“I want to emphasize that water levels in Connecticut’s larger reservoirs and water systems are perfectly fine at this point…(but) some of our smaller systems across the state with lower yielding supplies may want to consider requesting water conservation measures from their customers,” added DPH Commissioner Raul Pino. “There are currently no reports of any Community Public Water Systems triggering their emergency contingency plans due to below normal reservoir capacities.”

The Interagency Drought Advisory Workgroup, which is made up of members from DPH, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and the Public Utility Regulatory Authority, monitors the state’s water supply, and determined on Monday that five of seven drought benchmarks have been met, including precipitation, groundwater, streamflow, Palmer Drought Index and fire danger.

DPH Commissioner Pino added that although most of our state’s water systems are fine, “We have not experienced as much rain as we typically do to this point in the year. Therefore people should be conscientious about their water consumption so that we don’t begin to experience drought conditions later this summer, particularly if rainfall continues to be below average.”

The last drought advisory was issued in 2010; before that, advisories were issued in 2002 and 2007. If conditions decline, a drought watch would be issued.