New York state has put four regions, including one that incorporates northern Cayuga County, under a drought watch.
The watch, issued by state Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos, includes Long Island, the Upper Hudson/Mohawk area, the Adirondacks and the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence area.
The declaration comes after consultation with the State Drought Management Task Force, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced in a press release Tuesday.
The "watch" is the lowest of four levels of state drought, which become elevated with a drought "warning," "emergency" and "disaster."
The state currently has no statewide water use restrictions in place, "but citizens are strongly encouraged to voluntarily conserve water," according to the press release.
Local public water suppliers may impose water use restrictions depending upon local needs and conditions.
"While the watch is just the first stage, it gives New York State agencies and emergency response advanced notice of a developing drought," Seggos said in the press release. "We can all do our part conserving water now by taking some simple steps. Minor changes in your everyday routine can go a long way in helping prevent increased drought levels."
The states drought monitoring program uses an index that includes precipitation levels, reservoir/lake levels, and stream flow and groundwater levels in each of nine regions. More information is available at www.dec.ny.gov/lands/5011.html.
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