Drought Warning for Southwest and East-central Pennsylvania

This September, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) issued a drought warning for 24 counties throughout southwest and east-central Pennsylvania.  A drought warning asks for residents to voluntarily reduce their water use by 10-15%.  For the remaining 43 counties, the PADEP issued a drought watch, asking residents to reduce their non-essential water use by 5%.

Pennsylvanians can significantly reduce water usage.  By taking simple actions around the house, every person can make a difference.  Some of these ways include doing the laundry with only a full load of clothing or running only a full load of dishes in the dishwasher, taking brief showers, installing water-saving devices on showers and faucets, and repairing leaks.  It is very important that people proactively reduce water consumption during these drought warnings and drought watches.

To protect Pennsylvania farmers during this drought, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced natural disaster assistance for those hit hard by the drought.  Farmers in 38 counties are eligible for assistance.  More information is available through local Farm Service Agency offices or at http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov

Water is one of our Nation’s most valuable assets.  Though it is vital to life, it is not an endless resource.  Protecting both water quality and quantity is an important priority for which I will continue to work.

The 24 counties under a drought warning are Allegheny, Beaver, Bedford, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Fayette, Franklin, Fulton, Greene, Huntingdon, Lackawanna, Lawrence, Lehigh, Luzerne, Mercer, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, Pike, Schuylkill, Somerset, and Washington.