Hillsdale Environmental Commission

Natural Resource and Preservation Hillsdale, NJ

Rain Lessens Drought Conditions

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But wise water use is always encouraged

TRENTON – Following months of sufficient precipitation, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin today lifted a drought warning for 12 of 14 counties in the northern, central and northern coastal regions of New Jersey and removed a drought watch for four counties in the southwestern part of the state.

Commissioner Martin signed an Administrative Order removing, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Sussex, Union and Warren counties from drought warning status and removing Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Salem counties from drought watch. These advisories had been in place since October.

While most regions of the state are now under normal water supply conditions, Commissioner Martin reminds the public to always practice water conservation, especially when watering lawns and landscaping, which accounts for a significant portion of water use in the spring and summer.

“I want to thank water suppliers and residents in the affected areas of the state for working with us to conserve water,” Commissioner Martin said. “I urge everyone to always be mindful of not wasting water. We should not forget the images from last fall of the muddy slopes of receding reservoirs as we turn our attention to maintaining our lawns and landscaping this spring.”

Some suggested lawn and garden water conservation tips include:

  • Do not over-water lawns and landscaping. Two times per week for 30 minutes in the morning or late afternoon during drier periods is typically sufficient.
  • Use a hose with a hand-nozzle to water flowers and shrubs.
  • Do not mow your grass too short. Set mowing height to at least three inches. Longer grass blades help retain soil moisture, improve root growth and encourage a healthier lawn.
  • Avoid watering lawns and plants during the heat of the day, since much of this water will evaporate without helping your lawn.
  • Reduce the size of your lawn by establishing gardens that use native, drought-tolerant vegetation.
  • Apply mulch around shrubs and flower beds to reduce evaporation, promote plant growth and reduce weeds.
  • Use barrels or other containers to capture rainfall for use in watering. Cover the openings with fine screens to prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs in the collected water.
  • Use a broom to sweep sidewalks and driveways rather than a hose.

To save water in the home:

  • Fix leaky faucets and pipes.
  • Turn off the faucet while shaving and brushing teeth.
  • Install faucet aerators.
  • Run washing machines and dishwashers when full, or make sure to select the appropriate wash cycle for the load size.
  • Take shorter showers.
  • Install a low-flow toilet.

To read entire news release, please see : NJDEP News Release 4/12/2017

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