Conserving Water is Critical During “Drought Warning”November 22, 2016
Lehigh County Authority is monitoring conditions along the Little Lehigh Creek where water flow has dried up in some locations, but flowing fine (albeit low) in other locations. Reports indicate this is due to the limestone geology in this region where the creek flows in and out of the local groundwater aquifer. It is not uncommon for such streams to go dry in stretches, especially during prolonged lack of precipitation as we have been experiencing. However, it is distressing to see the Little Lehigh in such condition. Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.
Earlier this month, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has placed Lehigh and Northampton counties into a “Drought Warning” stage. There are currently 4 counties in Eastern Pennsylvania in a Drought Warning stage, and 30 additional counties across the state that are in a Drought Watch stage. Click here to read DEP’s press release.
To monitor DEP’s drought declarations, please bookmark their Drought Information Page.
Lehigh County Authority is always monitoring water supplies to ensure we are supplying water to our community in an environmentally friendly and sustainable manner. To help customers understand more about water supply status during the current Drought Warning, we are posting a weekly and monthly update on our Water Supplypage. Please visit often to see how our local streams, wells and springs are faring during this very dry period!
What does it mean?
The “Drought Warning” stage is the second level of drought declaration that DEP will issue. It means that at least two of four indicators suggest water supplies may be in jeopardy in the future if no improvements are seen in precipitation. The four indicators are: precipitation, surface water levels, groundwater levels, and soil moisture. For our area, groundwater levels, surface water levels and soil moisture are three indicators that are of concern for DEP at this time.
What about water restrictions?
At this stage of a Drought (in the “Warning” category), water use restrictions are voluntary, and the target is a 10-15% reduction in non-essential water uses. Customers will not be penalized if they fail to follow the request for water conservation measures, but we do ask for all customers to consider ways to conserve. Click here for water conservation information and tips!
How are LCA’s water supplies impacted?
At this time, we have not seen a negative impact of declining water levels in our wells, springs, or surface water supplies. We will monitor our supplies carefully to ensure that we are aware of any declines that would be a concern to our operation. We will continue to be careful and watch our system to ensure we have adequate supply for our customers.