Drought Conditions Linger

It is no secret that this summer was a dry one. As of November 7, Stage 1 drought conditions linger across the entire state. Drought conditions were first declared by Governor Lamont in July based on data reviewed by the CT Interagency Drought Workgroup (IDW) that indicated that every county had reached Stage 2 conditions following the framework within the State Drought Plan. During this time, the IDW asked residents and businesses to take voluntary measures to aid in minimizing future drought impact by reducing automatic outdoor irrigation, postponing the planting of any new lawns or vegetation, reducing overall water use by fixing leaky plumbing and fixtures and to follow any additional conservation requests issued by water suppliers or municipalities.

Locally, mid-July brought the water level in the Pomperaug River down below Threshold II (under 15 cubic feet per second) of the Pomperaug Low Flow Plan. In coordination Connecticut Water Company and the Town of Southbury, PRWC issued similar requests for voluntary water conservation to residents and businesses throughout the watershed community.

By mid-August, Threshold III was reached with the lowest flow in the Pomperaug River dipping to just 2.2 cubic feet per second (cfs). Threshold III is reached when the flow in the Pomperaug River drops below 7 cfs. Based on United States Geological Survey records, the Pomperaug reaches this level about once about every four years. The average flow for mid-August is about 32 cfs. During this time, Coalition partners strongly urged residents and businesses to conserve water in order to preserve flows in the river to support aquatic life health.

After brief spikes in streamflow from early September rains, the streamflow dipped back down to Threshold II of the Pomperaug Low Flow Plan. Given the proximity of the Heritage Village Water wells to the Pomperaug River, river flows are an early indicator that conservation measures should be encouraged to help protect fish communities while also protecting drinking water supplies.

Regardless of drought status, PRWC encourages efficient water use throughout the year. Thank you for doing your part to conserve water!

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