Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced the State has issued a Drought Watch for four regions of New York, including Long Island. A "watch" is the first of four levels of state drought advisories ("watch," "warning," "emergency," and "disaster"). There are no statewide mandatory water use restrictions in place under a drought watch or warning, but citizens are strongly encouraged to voluntarily conserve water.
Conservation tips for homeowners to reduce outdoor water usage include:
- Fix dripping and leaking faucets and toilets. A faucet leaking 30 drops per minute wastes 54 gallons a month;
- Raise lawn mower cutting height. Longer grass needs less water;
- If the community allows watering, water lawns and gardens on alternate mornings instead of every day. Less frequent watering will develop grass with deeper roots, and early morning watering minimizes evaporation;
- When using automatic lawn watering systems, override the system in wet weather or use a rain gauge to control when and how much water to use. A fixed watering schedule wastes water. Irrigate only when needed to save water and improve the lawn’s health;
- Sweep sidewalks and steps rather than hosing them. Eliminating a weekly, five-minute pavement hose-down could save between 625 and 2,500 gallons of water per year depending on the flow rate.
For more water saving tips, visit DEC’s webpage at http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/5009.html.