Hamptons residents should be on high alert during a prolonged period of hot, dry weather as officials warn to conserve water usage, especially when it comes to watering lawns.
The Suffolk County Water Authority has declared a “stage one water emergency” for the towns of Southampton, East Hampton and Shelter Island to help ensure there is sufficient water for firefighters and other emergency purposes.
Residents must stop irrigation between midnight and 7 a.m., refrain from non-essential water usage, reduce shower times, and embrace other water-saving measures.
Governor Kathy Hochul also directed the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to issue a drought watch for many New York counties, including Suffolk.
“Recent rains across the state were not enough to address the dry conditions that have persisted this year,” Hochul said in a statement last week.
New York State is encouraging residents in affected counties, particularly those dependent on private groundwater wells, to conserve water whenever possible.
“Conserving water is important all year long, but particularly during extended dry periods like we are experiencing now,” says Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos. “DEC will continue to monitor water conditions as the summer continues and work with our partners to help address the short-term water issues leading to this watch and the longer-term impacts of climate change on our everyday lives.”
Below-normal precipitation over the last three months, low streamflows, and low groundwater levels prompted the need for action to ensure adequate public water supplies.
The National Weather Service has predicted the rest of the summer will have above-normal temperatures and below-normal precipitation.
Homeowners are also being encouraged to reuse water collected in rain barrels, dehumidifiers or air conditioners to water plants and raise law mower cutting heights as longer grass needs less water.