WXXI – The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has issued a drought watch for 21 counties including Monroe, Livingston, Genesee, Orleans, Seneca, Steuben, Tompkins, Wyoming and Yates.
A watch is the first of four levels of state drought advisories. No mandatory restrictions are in place under a drought watch.
Governor Kathy Hochul said that local water restrictions and educating residents about conserving water resources will be crucial to help prevent a more severe shortage if conditions worsen.
The DEC said it will continue to monitor water conditions and work with partner agencies to help address any short-term issues as well as the longer-term impacts of climate change.
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.