Current Drought Conditions
Statewide Drought Watch and Western Drought Warning
On August 3, 2016, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo directed DEC to issue a heightened Drought Warning for most of Western New York. DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos issued the Drought Warning for State Drought Regions VI, VII and VIII.
These Drought Warning regions include the following counties in western NYS: Allegany, Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Chemung, Erie, Genesee, Jefferson, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Onondaga, Ontario, Orleans, Oswego, Seneca, Schuyler, Steuben, Tompkins, Wayne, Wyoming and Yates.
Commissioner Seggos issued the warning after consulting with experts from the State Drought Management Task Force and Federal technical agencies. The remainder of the State remains under a Drought Watch previously declared on July 15, 2016
A "warning" is the second 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 residents are strongly encouraged to voluntarily conserve water. However, local public water suppliers may require such 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.