U.S. Water News Online
WEST TRENTON, N.J. -- Recent rains have done little to
assuage what is being called
the fifth worst drought to hit the nation's Northeast region in the current century. In
response to the prolonged dry spell that began in August of 1994, the Delaware
River Basin Commission has issued a drought warning to some 7 million residents of
New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Delaware.
The commission has urged residential water users to voluntarily
limit non-essential use,
including watering of lawns, and non-commercial water washing. Under the
commission's drought management plan, maximum withdrawal limits on water that is
diverted out-of-basin to both New York City and northern New Jersey have been
reduced by 15 percent. New York City's allowable withdrawal from three Delaware
Basin reservoirs that supply about half the city's water supply was reduced from 800
million gallons per day (mgd) to 680 mgd.
"We take water for granted in this country," commented Gerald
director of the Delaware River Basin Commission. "In some foreign lands the water
comes on at seven in the morning and is turned off at seven that evening, and even
then it may not be fit to drink. It's a real hardship, hardly comparable to a dusty car or
a brown lawn."
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