People, Environment

NY State Issues Drought Watch

NY State Issues Drought WatchNY State Issues Drought Watch

New York State in the US has issued a drought watch after the onset of a hot summer on the back of rain-starved spring. The last drought watch in the state was issued in 2002. “While most public water supplies are still generally normal throughout the state, below normal precipitation over the last nine months, low stream flows and reduced groundwater levels have prompted the need for this action,” Commissioner Basil Seggos said. “We are encouraging residents throughout the state to conserve water whenever possible during the coming months.” A watch is the first of four levels of state drought advisories (“watch,” “warning,” “emergency” and “disaster”). There are no statewide mandatory water use restrictions in place under a drought watch. However, local public water suppliers may require such measures depending upon local needs and conditions, according to WSYR-TV. The drought watch is triggered by the State Drought Index, which reflects precipitation levels, reservoir/lake levels and stream flow and groundwater levels in nine designated drought regions throughout New York. Each of these indicators is assigned a weighted value based on its significance to various uses in a region.