Comment on the Drinking Water Supply Indicators:
Continued dry, unseasonably warm weather continues to constrain the drinking water supply indicators monitored by the NJDEP. The persistent drought conditions coupled with high water demands threaten a worsening of the situation as we progress into fall. The Drought Watch issued on July 25, 2016, for the Central, Northeast, and Northwest regions, remains in place.
Stream flows currently are rated as “severely dry” in all but the Coastal South region, where they are “moderately dry”. Shallow ground water level ratings are mixed across the state – they are “moderately dry” in the Northeast and Central regions; “severely dry” in the Coastal South, Northwest, and Southwest regions; and “extremely dry” in the Coastal North. Reservoir systems, a key source of drinking water throughout the northern portion of the state, are working as designed. However, certain critical reservoirs are being depleted more quickly than others, and the separation between current levels and long-term averages is increasing. Conditions are not yet critical, but without abundant rainfall in the coming weeks, further action to preserve and balance supplies may be in order.