NEW JERSEY ENVIRONMENTAL
COMMISSIONER STRESSES NEED FOR WATER CONSERVATION STATEWIDE
Forest Fire Service Restricts Recreational
(05/111) TRENTON -- Department of Environmental Protection
(DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell is urging residents and
visitors of New Jersey to practice water conservation due to continued
hot and dry weather conditions. Additionally, DEP's Forest Fire
Service has restricted recreational fires in most of the state.
"If existing trends continue we may need to invoke the state's
non-emergency drought options. Clearly the adage 'waste not, want
not' applies here," said Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell.
The DEP's tracking of the six drought regions in New Jersey indicates
particular vulnerability in the northern and central part of the
state with decreased ground water levels and reduced reservoir
levels. Southern New Jersey has fared somewhat better with near-normal
levels recorded for stream flows and ground water due to relatively
higher amounts of rainfall; however, due to substantially dry
conditions in recent weeks, this area also remains under close
Under the new fire restrictions, fires directly on the ground
and in wooded areas are prohibited. Agricultural burning permits
also are suspended. These restrictions will remain in place until
adequate rainfall is received or until additional measures are
DEP's internal drought monitoring group assesses drought indicators
and water levels and evaluates water supply management options
to reduce the likelihood of a water emergency.
Options DEP would consider, if conditions do not improve, include
ordering the water purveyors to develop alternative water supplies,
to conduct flow tests and to activate water supply interconnections
and water transfers. Before moving forward with any of these requirements,
the department will schedule a public hearing.
Over the summer, New Jersey received below average rainfall
throughout central and northern New Jersey. DEP is asking the
public to take voluntary actions to conserve water, including:
- Limit lawn watering to 20 minutes twice per week through
- Fix leaky faucets and pipes in the home, along with turning
off the faucet while brushing teeth and shaving.
- Turn off faucets when not in use.
- Install water conserving faucet and shower heads.
- Run washing machines and dishwashers only when full.
For additional water conservation information visit www.njdrought.org
For additional information on fire restrictions visit www.njwildfire.org