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NJ DEPT. OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

IMMEDIATE RELEASE
11/14/02
02/117

Contact: Elaine Makatura
609-292-9289

RECENT RAIN HELPS TO IMPROVE WATER SUPPLY SHORTAGE
WHILE ONGOING DROUGHT EMERGENCY PERSISTS

(02/117) Trenton---Unprecedented voluntary and mandatory water conservation efforts undertaken by residents, businesses and water companies combined with recent wet weather prompted Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell today to revise some of the mandatory water use restrictions in portions of New Jersey.

"The good news is that in the past two months we received more rain than we did during the six months from September 2001 through February 2002, which is normally our prime rainfall season. But due to uncertainties in predicting weather patterns and continuing low ground water and stream flow levels in the southern portion of the state, it is imperative to keep the drought emergency in place statewide," said Campbell. "The primary message today is the same: We must continue to conserve water."

There have been significant improvements in water levels in the Northeast, Northwest, and Central drought regions. Considering the improvements in these drought regions, mandatory water use restrictions are lifted and replaced by voluntary water conservation efforts. In all instances any water use should be the minimum necessary to carry out any activity.

While water levels have increased in the Coastal North, Coastal South and Southwest Drought regions, ground water levels remain at record low levels causing mandatory restrictions to stay in effect. These restrictions include lawn and non-lawn watering on an odd-even basis during certain times of day and washing of vehicles at residences on weekends only.

"Because of the geology in the southern portion of New Jersey water recharge and recovery in these aquifers take longer," Campbell added. "Our southern aquifers fill up immediately following rainfall but drop quickly as soon as the rain stops."

Another provision of the drought order is the promotion of wastewater reuse in all six-drought regions.

For more information on the drought, please visit the DEP drought website at www.njdrought.org. The revised administrative order is also available.

 

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