Pennsylvania Drought Watch Ends

Based on a recommendation by the state's drought task force, Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Kathleen A. McGinty lifted the drought watch declaration for 20 counties on Feb. 15.

"Groundwater is typically the last of the parameters to recover and, in nearly all of the counties that had been under a drought watch, groundwater levels have returned to normal or are improving steadily," said McGinty. "In addition, we’ve seen a 65 percent reduction in the number of public water supplies on restrictions since the summer."

The drought watch was lifted in Adams, Berks, Bucks, Cambia, Cameron, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Cumberland, Dauphin, Elk, Franklin, Juniata, Lycoming, Montour, Northumberland, Perry, Potter, Schuylkill and Union counties.

"While some public water suppliers are still calling for customers to restrict their water use based on their individual system needs, conditions overall have improved so that there is no longer a need for a county-wide conservation effort," said McGinty. "We would point out, though, that conserving water is always prudent."

A drought watch was first declared in 58 counties last August following weeks of below-normal rainfall that resulted in precipitation deficits of as much as 4 inches in some counties. A drought watch is the first and least severe of the state's three drought classifications. It calls for voluntary conservation of 5 percent of non-essential water use.

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