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Friday, July 29, 2022

Tornato Apparently More Wind than Rain:
State DEC puts GLOW counties 
on drought watch today

ALBANY — All four GLOW counties are among 21 on the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s drought watch, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Friday. New York state is encouraging residents in affected counties, particularly those dependent on private groundwater wells, to conserve water whenever possible during the coming weeks.

Aside from Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties, the list includes Allegany, Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Chemung, Erie, Monroe, Niagara, Onondaga, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Suffolk, Tompkins and Yates.

A watch is the first of four levels of state drought advisories, which are watch, warning, emergency and disaster. No mandatory restrictions are in place under a drought watch.

“Recent rains across the state were not enough to address the dry conditions that have persisted this year,” Governor Hochul said. “Local water restrictions and educating residents about how to help conserve our water resources will be crucial steps to help prevent a more severe shortage should conditions worsen.”

The drought watch is triggered by the State Drought Index, which reflects precipitation levels, reservoir/lake levels and stream flow and groundwater levels in the nine drought regions of the state. Each of these indicators is assigned a weighted value based on its significance to various uses in a region. The State Drought Index is attuned to the specific attributes of New York and may differ moderately from some national technical drought assessments.

“Conserving water is important all year long, but particularly during extended dry periods like we are experiencing now. DEC will continue to monitor water conditions as the summer continues and work with its partners to help address the short-term water issues leading to this watch and the longer-term impacts of climate change on our everyday lives,” Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said.

While few public water supply challenges have been reported due to dry conditions, below-normal precipitation during the last three months, low streamflows, and low groundwater levels prompted the need for action to ensure adequate public water supplies. Local public water suppliers are urged to assess the current situation, promote voluntary conservation, and take appropriate actions to manage risk.

To protect water resources, homeowners are encouraged to voluntarily reduce outdoor water use and follow these tips:

  • Water lawns only when necessary, choose watering methods that avoid waste and water in the early morning to reduce evaporation and maximize soil hydration;
  • Reuse water collected in rain barrels, dehumidifiers, or air conditioners to water plants;
  • Raise lawn mower cutting heights. Longer grass is healthier with stronger roots and needs less water;
  • Use a broom, not a hose, to clean driveways and sidewalks; and
  • Fix leaking pipes, hoses, and faucets.

For more water saving tips, visit DEC’s webpage at:


For more information about drought in New York, go to:


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