NORWALK, Conn. — Connecticut is “experiencing Stage 2 Drought conditions,” Gov. Ned Lamont said Thursday. Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling issued a drought advisory Friday, in partnership with the First District Water Department and the South Norwalk Electric and Water Company (SNEW).
“The City is asking residents to do their part to conserve water given the lack of rainfall and Governor Lamont declaring Stage 2 Drought conditions across the state,” Rilling said in a news release. “Drought conditions could continue into the months ahead, and by taking steps now, we can help preserve water supplies and mitigate potential harm. I want to thank everyone in our community for their patience and for being mindful of their water consumption.”
All eight Connecticut counties are “experiencing Stage 2 Drought conditions due to precipitation across the state being below normal,” Lamont’s news release said. “Under the state’s drought plan adopted in 2018, Stage 2 identifies an emerging drought event, potentially impacting water supplies, agriculture, or natural ecosystems.”
“Residents should be mindful of their water consumption and take sensible steps to reduce impacts on other water uses and on the environment,” Lamont is quoted as saying. “We must begin early steps now to mitigate the potential for harm should the drought become prolonged.”
Norwalk’s news release said:
“The First Taxing District and SNEW have mandatory irrigation conservation rules that the City encourages residents to revisit. They include a mandatory irrigation schedule from April through October that requires customers to water their landscape no more than twice a week and prohibits automatic irrigation between 10 AM and 6 PM during this period.
“To enhance water conservation, Norwalk’s Department of Recreation and Parks has temporarily ceased irrigating its grass fields. This includes fields at Calf Pasture Beach, City Hall, Norwalk High School, Roton Middle School, Ryan Park, Veterans Park, and 50 Washington St.
“The City, the First District Water Department and SNEW ask residents to take the following steps to help conserve water:
- “Take shorter showers and skip baths altogether (a full bathtub can use up to 70 gallons of water);
- “Only wash full loads of laundry;
- “Check for leaks around the house, including leaky toilets;
- “Keep drinking water in the refrigerator, so you don’t have to run the faucet while it cools;
- “Stop rinsing dishes before you place them in the dishwasher;
- “Take your car to the automatic car wash instead of washing it at home;
- “Reuse water for your plants wherever you can;
- “Apply mulch to plants, shrubs and ornamental trees to reduce water evaporation from the soil; and
- “Switch from a hose to a broom for cleaning your ”
The governor’s office also suggests you postpone the planting of any new lawns or vegetation.
The governor’s news release said:
“Stage 2 is the second of five stages of drought defined in the Connecticut Drought Response and Preparedness Plan. The Interagency Drought Workgroup classified New London and Windham counties as being at Stage 1 on June 2, when there were early signals of abnormally dry conditions. That stage is intended as a ‘heads up’ regarding the possibility of a developing drought.
“The decision to move to Stage 2 is based on an assessment of indicator data monitored by state and federal agencies, including precipitation, surface waters, groundwater, reservoirs, soil moisture, vegetation, and fire danger conditions. The state has experienced this level of drought five times in the past two decades, in 2002, 2007, 2010, 2016 and 2020. If conditions deteriorate further, the state could reach Stage 3, having reached that threshold in four counties in 2020.
“The Interagency Drought Workgroup has moved the entire state to Stage 2 because precipitation shortfalls, reduced ground water levels, stream flows, and soil moisture impacts are especially pronounced there. Rainfall and droughts do not follow political boundaries, and impacts can be more severe at certain locations. Those who depend on private wells, fire or irrigation ponds, and other highly localized water resources should be especially mindful of local conditions, especially in places where previous droughts have affected supplies.
“The State Interagency Drought Workgroup consists of representatives from the Department of Agriculture, Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Department of Public Health, Office of Policy and Management, and Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, with assistance from the National Weather Service and United States Geological Survey. More information on the Interagency Drought Workgroup and the State Drought Plan are available here.”