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Current Drought Conditions

Statewide Drought Watch and Western Drought Warning

On November 3, 2016, DEC reduced the Western New York Drought Warning to a Drought Watch after consulting with experts from the State Drought Management Task Force and Federal technical agencies. The entire state is now currently under a Drought Watch.

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, but residents are strongly encouraged to voluntarily conserve water. Local public water suppliers may require conservation measures, depending upon local needs and conditions.

The drought watch is triggered by the State Drought Index, which reflects precipitation levels, reservoir/lake levels, and stream flow and groundwater levels in nine designated drought regions throughout New York. Each of these indicators is assigned a weighted value based on its significance to various uses in a region.

This Index is intended primarily for guidance to public and private water suppliers and withdrawals. If you are experiencing a water shortage, please contact your local agricultural extension, local health department, or DEC regional office.


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